The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is leading a whole of government review and update of Victoria’s recycled water guidance.

Existing guidelines will be reviewed, updated and consolidated. The objective is to streamline and clarify approvals processes and facilitate an increased uptake of recycled water where risk to the environment and human health is acceptable.

An overarching guideline will be developed which will reference other documents. The purpose of the project is to focus on improving the approval process, rather than undertaking a technical review of the existing guidelines.

What is being revised: The existing Environment Protection Authority (EPA) guidelines being reviewed, updated and replaced with new, revised guidelines are as follows:

  • Publication 464.2 (2003): Guidelines for Environmental Management: use of reclaimed water, including Addendum to Class A Information in 464.2.
  • Publication 1015.1 (2005; 2015): Guidelines for Environmental Management: dual pipe water recycling schemes – health and environmental risk management, including Addendum to 1015.1.
  • Publication 887.1 (2006): Supply of reclaimed water for drought relief.
  • Publication IWRG632.1 (2017): Industrial water reuse.

Existing Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Victorian Building Authority (VBA) guidelines will continue to be cross-referenced and drawn upon.

What is the timing: The project began in January 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. EPA will then produce and publish the revised guidance in 2020.

Any additional components of work that may arise during the review or further refinement of the guidance will be considered as part of a later stage of work.

What schemes are covered: the revised guidance will cover schemes exceeding the threshold in the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 of 5,000 L/day, including:

  • Recycled water schemes, i.e. schemes which reuse water derived from sewage.
  • Industrial wastewater effluent schemes, i.e. schemes which reuse water produced from processes at industrial or commercial premises, including all waterborne waste from these facilities except sewage and prescribed industrial waste.
  • Recycled water/industrial wastewater effluent schemes which blend or ‘shandy’ other types of alternative water (e.g. channel water or stormwater).
  • Sewer mining schemes/third party access schemes – that is, systems/activities which extract and reuse greater than 5,000 L/day of wastewater generally from a wastewater sewer network pipe.

What schemes are not covered: schemes that are not scheduled premises are out of scope. This includes:

  • stormwater schemes
  • ‘closed loop’ (no discharge to environment)
  • onsite domestic systems (<5,000 L/day).

Who is involved: DELWP is leading the project with a Working Group involving EPA, DHHS and industry representatives. In addition, DELWP is interested in seeking perspectives from other stakeholders.

How you can be involved: to ensure the revised guidelines are appropriate, DELWP will be seeking feedback and input from stakeholders.

Stakeholder feedback will be sought in three phases as part of Stage 1:

  • The first phase (January to July 2019) will involve targeted consultation with the Working Group to develop the broader stakeholder consultation process.
  • The second phase (April to September 2019) will involve the proposed guideline and a discussion paper being circulated to stakeholders identified. The paper will summarise the current situation, drivers for change, questions and options. It will make and explain the rationale for key recommendations. Stakeholder feedback will be sought on those recommendations.
  • The final phase (October to December 2019) will involve targeted consultation with the Working Group and key stakeholders as part of finalising the guidelines themselves.

How to be involved: Please contact DELWP if you would like further information about the review or to be involved via: 


Page last updated: 01/07/19