Critical recycled water schemes
Under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, the regulator can declare a recycled water scheme ‘critical’ to ensure that it can continue providing recycled water of the required quality.
A critical recycled water scheme is therefore one that the regulator believes should be declared critical to:
- ensure it continues to operate so it can 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 under the scheme are managed appropriately.
A recycled water provider must give the regulator extended notice before permanently stopping supply from a critical recycled water scheme. The regulator can authorise alternative arrangements to ensure the continued operation of the scheme where necessary and can use additional dispute resolution powers if required.
Recycled water providers or other entities (e.g. the owner of the pipes in a dual reticulation scheme) of a critical recycled water scheme may be subject to additional requirements.
A critical recycled water scheme may be either a single-entity recycled water scheme or a multiple-entity recycled water scheme; although, all multiple-entity schemes will be declared critical. Multiple-entity recycled water schemes are those in which recycled water is produced and supplied by more than one recycled water provider or by a recycled water provider and another entity (e.g. the owner of the pipes in a dual reticulation scheme).
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
- to augment a supply of drinking water
- to provide at least 500 kilolitres of recycled water a day by way of a dual reticulation system used only to provide recycled water for outdoor use or for use in flushing toilets or in washing machines
- to provide at least 5 megalitres of recycled water a day for use in electricity generation.
This does not prevent the regulator from declaring any other recycled water scheme critical if the regulator believes it is necessary to meet the essential water supply needs of the community or industry.
Last reviewed 16 February 2012
Last updated 29 September 2011