Managing Effluent Reuse

​​​​​Tasmania's State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 actively encourages the sustainable reuse of treated effluent from wastewater treatment plants.

Regulation of recycled water schemes, also known as 'reuse' schemes, is primarily the responsibility of local governments. The EPA, with the help of the Wastewater Reuse Coordinating Group, provides advice on the development of sustainable reuse schemes. If the wastewater comes from a treatment plant regulated by the EPA, the EPA also authorises that plant to discharge to the reuse scheme.

Further information on how EPA’s regulatory approach supports the sustainable reuse of treated effluent is provided by the Regulatory Framework for Sustainable Discharge of Treated Wastewater from Level 2 WWTPs.

​Feasibility studies 

Some Permits and Environment Protection Notices (EPNs) require a feasibility study to be undertaken to determine whether it is feasible to divert effluent to reuse rather than discharging it to the environment. The Effluent Reuse Fea​sibility Study Guidelines, August 2011 describe what information must be provided to the EPA in order satisfy these requirements.

​ ​Effluent Reuse Feasibility Study Guidelines, August 2011   (PDF, 105Kb)​​

Proposing a new reuse scheme 

There are different application requirements for new proposed reuse schemes depending on whether the scheme intends to use Class B effluent (e.g. for irrigating tree plantations, pastures, recreational grounds and selected crops), or Class A effluent (e.g. for irrigating raw edible crops or for urban/residential recycling).

For reuse of Class B effluent, the Environmental Guidelines for the Use of Recycled Water in Tasmania, December 2002 ("Tasmanian Recycled Water Guidelines") outline the environmental issues that must be addressed in a Wastewater Reuse Environmental Management Plan (WREMP) or an equivalent document, such as an Environmental Effects Report (EER) or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for an effluent reuse scheme. The guidelines also describe ongoing management requirements.

   Environmental Guidelines for the Use of Recycled Water in Tasmania, December 2002   (PDF, 4Mb)

For reuse of Class A effluent, the ​​WREMP must address the more stringent requirements outlined in the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks, 2006.

Reviewing the EMP for a reuse scheme

Effluent reuse schemes must be monitored to make sure that they do not cause environmental harm. If there is evidence of environmental harm, or if a scheme changes significantly, the Director, EPA may require the WREMP for the activity to be reviewed. The Wastewater Reuse​ EMP Review Guidelines may be used to assist this process.​

  Wastewater Reuse EMP Review Guidelines   (PDF, 128Kb)

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