The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.
Water management plan for recycled water providers
The purpose of a recycled water management plan (RWMP) is to protect public health, and to ensure that critical recycled water schemes continue to operate.
A RWMP is a documented, risk-based system for managing the production and supply of recycled water.
You should follow the steps in this Recycled water management plan (RWMP) decision tree (PDF, 114KB) to check if you are required to register your recycled water scheme or if you are required to develop a RWMP.
Who must prepare a RWMP
As a recycled water provider, you are required to have a RWMP approved by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, before supplying recycled water to a recycled water scheme for any of the following:
- the scheme is a critical recycled water scheme
- the recycled water is supplied to augment a supply of drinking water via a source supply (e.g. a dam)
- 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 made under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.
All recycled water providers supplying recycled water to higher exposure uses are required to have an approved recycled water management plan (RWMP).
Schemes supplying for lower exposure uses can also be required to have approved RWMP, but only if prescribed by regulation.
There are no exemptions from preparing a RWMP.
Existing RWMPs approved for higher exposure uses will continue to apply. Plans for lower risk schemes will not. If an existing RWMP covers both higher and lower exposure uses, only the parts of the plan that relate to the higher exposures uses will continue to have effect.
What a RWMP includes
Your RWMP must be based on appropriate risk management methodology and should 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.
If you are a recycled water provider supplying to a dual reticulation system, you are required to include an education and risk awareness program for your customers.
A dual reticulation system means a network of pipes enabling drinking water and recycled water to be supplied to premises from separate pipes. This includes the supply of recycled water 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 (e.g. a driveway).
How to apply
As a recycled water provider, you must complete the Recycled water management plan approval application form (PDF, 600KB) when submitting the RWMP.
You should use the Guide for preparing a recycled water management plan (DOC, 1.7MB) template when preparing a RWMP.
If you are a recycled water provider supplying recycled water to augment a drinking water supply, you must first apply for approval of a validation program (as described below).
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.
As a recycled water provider, you should provide evidence of validation using an appropriate validation program when applying for approval of a RWMP. Outcomes from the validation program should be incorporated into the RWMP (this does not apply to those supplying recycled water to augment drinking water supplies).
If you are a provider supplying recycled water to augment drinking water supplies, you must have your proposed validation program approved before applying for approval of a RWMP. When applying for approval of the RWMP, the results of the validation program must be provided and the outcomes reflected in the RWMP.
You should read the Recycled water management plan and validation guidelines (PDF, 884KB) for detailed requirements for preparing a RWMP and applying for approval.
Requests for further information
When assessing the application, the department may seek advice from an advisory council or other organisation, and may request further information if necessary.
If you fail to comply with a request for further information within the specified time frame, your application will be considered to have been withdrawn.
You can change your registration details by using the Recycled water scheme registration application form (PDF, 153KB).
Read about recycled water management plan amendments.
Post plan approval
Once a RWMP is approved, as a recycled water provider, you must comply with the approved RWMP and its conditions and relevant reporting requirements.
Public health compliance
All recycled water schemes (including schemes not operated under a RWMP) must comply with the Public Health Act 2005 which contains provisions that complement the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.
Recycled water can be considered a public health risk under the Public Health Act 2005 if its supply could impact on public health. It is an offence for a recycled water provider to supply recycled water that they know, or reasonably ought to know, is not fit for use.