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Critical recycled water schemes

Under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, we can declare a recycled water scheme ‘critical’ to ensure that it continues providing recycled water.

A critical recycled water scheme is declared to:

  • ensure it continues to operate and meet the essential water supply needs of the community or industry 
  • ensure that any risks to public health posed by the supply of recycled water are managed appropriately. 

A provider must give extended notice before permanently stopping supply from a critical recycled water scheme. We can authorise alternative arrangements to ensure the continued operation of the scheme, and use additional dispute resolution powers if required.

Providers of a critical scheme, or other entities (e.g. the owner of the pipes in a dual reticulation scheme) may be subject to additional requirements.

Schemes that must be declared critical

The regulator must declare a recycled water scheme critical if the scheme is supplying or proposing to supply recycled water:

  • that is coal seam gas recycled water (unless there’s an exclusion decision)
  • to augment a supply of drinking water 
  • to provide at least 500 kilolitres of recycled water a day for dual reticulation
  • to provide at least 5 megalitres of recycled water a day for use in electricity generation. 

This does not prevent us from declaring any other recycled water scheme critical if necessary to meet the essential water supply needs of a community or industry.

Last updated
23 August 2013