The EPA has released new guidance in the form of the Regulatory Framework for Sustainable Discharge of Treated Wastewater from Level 2 WWTPs, November 2020. The Framework explains how the EPA’s regulatory structures support the discharge of treated wastewater to sustainable reuse schemes, diverting pollutant loads away from waterways and toward a beneficial end use. It is primarily relevant for the operators of Level 2 wastewater treatment plants, being plants with a design capacity to treat an average dry weather flow of 100 kilolitres or more per day of sewage or wastewater, as defined by Schedule 2 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.
The Framework clarifies ground rules and technical specifications to inform future discharge management decisions. It provides regulatory incentives aimed at focusing investment on higher-risk situations and increasing incentives to adopt sustainable effluent reuse as a future discharge management option.
EPA Tasmania released a draft version of the Framework to key stakeholders for consultation prior to publication. Consulted stakeholders include TasWater as the operator of the majority of the Level 2 wastewater treatment plants in Tasmania, other operators of Level 2 WWTPs, and relevant regulatory authorities such as the Tasmanian Economic Regulator, the Director of Public Health and the Regulatory Services component of the Shellfish Market Access Program (ShellMAP).