When developing and implementing stormwater harvesting/re-use projects, you should have regard for the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse (AGWR, 2009), released by the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, and the National Health and Medical Research Council. They provide guidance on managing environmental and health risks associated with stormwater harvesting and reuse projects. The Phase 2 Guidelines bring the management of stormwater harvesting and reuse projects into line with other national water quality guidelines.
They build on the Interim State Government Guidelines, Managing Urban Stormwater: Harvesting and Reuse (DEC, 2006) which was released by the then Department of Environment and Conservation (now the Office of Environment and Heritage). The DEC Guidelines are a useful tool in the planning and implementation of stormwater harvesting and reuse projects. However, in relation to the management of environmental and health risks, councils should refer to the AGWR Pase 2 guidelines as they reflect the most up to date research and information regarding the management of environmental and health risks.
Under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WIC Act) private corporations that initiate a stormwater harvesting and reuse project may require a licence from the Minister for Water. Proposals are assessed against the AGWR guidelines. Local councils are exempt from the WIC Act and as such do not require a licence to undertake a stormwater harvesting and reuse project. Nonetheless, the NSW Government endorses the AGWR Gudelines for use by councils as a means to manage environmental and health risks associated with stormwater harvesting and reuse projects.