Waterworks and Sewage Works Regulations – Revised changes NOW in effect
This is to advise that The Waterworks and Sewage Works Regulations have been revised. The following is a brief summary of both the substantive and minor regulatory revisions:
Revisions related to Waterworks:
- Under clause 24(4)(a) the requirement for water reservoir access manholes to have a prescriptive 50mm lip on their cover, has been changed to simply require a tight fitting cover that prevents the entry of contaminants into the reservoir.
- Under Section 32 there have been substantive changes that eliminate the need to conduct a independent engineering assessment of human consumptive waterworks on a cyclical basis, also commonly referred to as Waterworks System Assessment (WSA), every five years, or five years after initial construction. This requirement has been altered to allow for these assessments to be required on a frequency as determined by the minister and as described in the Permit to Operate a Waterworks. Subsection 32(3) outlines the circumstances under which a Waterworks System Assessment may be required. Please note that the bold emphasis has been added to draw your attention to the important phases.
32(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) and subject to subsection (4), the minister may direct, in writing, one or more independent engineering assessments as an operating permit condition if the minister considers it necessary due to:
(a) additional water demands on a waterworks;
(b) limited existing capacity to provide water in accordance with the waterworks design standard;
(c) anticipated or planned expansion of a waterworks; or
(d) evidence that, in the opinion of the minister, indicates a potential problem.
Hygienic waterworks, municipal waterworks that are served by groundwater and supply fewer than 50 people, and water pipelines that have fewer than 15 service connection remain exempt from ever having to complete a WSA. Permits to Operate a Waterworks that currently have a Permit clause requiring the completion of a Waterworks System Assessment is nullified by the coming into force of these regulatory amendments. In other words the requirement to complete a Waterworks System Assessment by Dec 2020, or on a routine five year cycle is no longer in effect. Undoubtedly however there will be some systems the will be required to perform assessments based on the factors noted above. Typically requirements for assessments will be put in place by the Environment Officer that typically deals with the waterworks system in his or her administrative area.
Minor regulatory revisions related to Waterworks include the following:
- Clause 2(1)(i) revised the definition of water “distribution system” to clarify specifically stating that “plumbing” within a building and “pipes” used to service a premise (premise owners portion of a water service connection) are not parts of a “distribution system.” Clause 17(2) was revised similarly.
Minor regulatory revisions affecting Wastewater Systems include the following:
- Subclause 2(1)(g)(ii) revised the definition of a collection system to clarify that “pipes” used to service a premise (premise owners portion of a collection service connection) are not parts of a “collection system”. It was also revised to replace previous erroneous references to distribution system within this definition
- Clause 2(1)(cc) revised the definition of a regional sewage works to indicate a regional sewage system can consist of just a treatment works, just a collection works or both.
- Section 5(2) was revised to specify certain works that are not designated as sewage works; those being piping or fixtures within a building and “pipes” used to service a premise (premise owners portion of a wastewater service connection) are not parts of a “collection system.”