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 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.
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 Feasibility 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
Proposing a new reuse scheme
For new proposed irrigation schemes, there are different application requirements depending on whether the scheme intends to use Class B effluent (e.g. for irrigating silviculture, 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 Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) for an effluent reuse scheme. The guidelines also describe ongoing management requirements.
Environmental Guidelines for the Use of Recycled Water in Tasmania, December 2002
For reuse of Class A effluent, the DPEMP must address the more stringent requirements outlined in the
National 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 of the EPA may require the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the activity to be reviewed. The Wastewater Reuse EMP Review Guidelines may be used to assist this process.
Wastewater Reuse EMP Review Guidelines