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Recycled water management plan

A recycled water management plan (RWMP) is a documented, risk-based system for managing the production and supply of recycled water. Their purpose is to protect public health, and to ensure that critical recycled water schemes continue to operate.

Requirement to prepare an RWMP

Recycled water providers are required to have an RWMP approved by the regulator before supplying recycled water to a recycled water scheme, if any of the following apply:

  • the scheme is a critical recycled water scheme
  • the recycled water is supplied to augment a supply of drinking water
  • the recycled water is supplied to premises by way of a dual reticulation system
  • the recycled water is supplied for use in irrigating minimally processed food crops
  • the recycled water is supplied for a use prescribed under a regulation.

Previously, recycled water providers, supplying recycled water to lower exposure uses could apply for an exemption from preparing an RWMP. There are no exemptions under the new regulatory framework. Recycled water schemes must either have an approved recycled water management plan or are not required to have an approved plan.

How to apply

Providers must complete the application form WSR002 (PDF, 600.3KB) when submitting their RWMP. Enough supporting information must be included to enable us to make a decision. Providers supplying recycled water to augment a drinking water supply must first apply for approval of their validation program using the validation program approval application form WSR001 (PDF, 592.5KB)

RWMP requirements

An RWMP must be based on appropriate risk management methodology and include:

  • a description of the recycled water scheme 
  • details of the infrastructure used to produce and/or supply the recycled water and how it will be maintained 
  • the proposed water quality criteria for the recycled water
  • identification of hazards and hazardous events that may affect the quality of the recycled water 
  • an assessment of the risks posed by these hazards and hazardous events, and how they are proposed to be managed
  • details of operational and verification monitoring programs to show how the scheme will maintain compliance with water quality criteria
  • an incident and emergency response plan for the scheme.

Recycled water providers supplying to a dual reticulation system are required to include an education and risk awareness program for customers of the scheme. A dual reticulation system means a network of pipes enabling drinking water and recycled water to be supplied to premises from separate pipes, if the recycled water is supplied for any of the following:

  • flushing toilets
  • connection to cold water laundry tap for a washing machine at a residential premises
  • irrigating lawns or gardens of a residential premises
  • washing down external parts of a residential premises, for example a driveway.

When assessing the application, we may seek advice from an advisory council or other organisation, and may request further information if necessary. The application is considered withdrawn if a provider fails to comply with a request for further information.

Once an RWMP is approved, the recycled water provider must comply with the approved RWMP and its conditions and relevant reporting requirements.

Validation programs

A validation program documents how the plant or equipment used for the treatment of recycled water is to be tested to show that the system can effectively control relevant hazards and consistently produce recycled water of the required quality. It contains information about the methodology used to validate individual components as well as the system as a whole.

When applying for approval of an RWMP, recycled water providers (other than those supplying recycled water to augment drinking water supplies) should provide evidence of validation using an appropriate validation program. Outcomes from the validation program should be incorporated into the RWMP.

Providers supplying recycled water to augment drinking water supplies must have their proposed validation program approved before applying for approval of an RWMP. When applying for approval of the RWMP, the results of the validation program must be provided and the outcomes reflected in the RWMP.

See the RWMP and Validation Guidelines (PDF, 884.6KB) for detailed requirements for preparing an RWMP and applying for approval.

Related information

Last updated
2 June 2014