Water in Tasmania - who is responsible?Irrigation Schemes and Development
Household Water Supply and Sewerage Services
Wastewater and Water Re-use
Water Quality and Water Pollution
Drinking Water Quality
Water Testing Services
Chemicals and Water Quality
A number of bodies at all levels of Government have responsibility for the management and regulation of Tasmania's freshwater resources. Areas managed include water pollution, domestic water supply and the public health issues associated with the provision of drinking water.
The material below provides a summary of each agency's responsibilities and sources of further information.
Information on water governance arrangements around Australia is available on the National Water Commission website: http://www.nwc.gov.au/home/water-governancearrangements-in-australia
Tasmanian Irrigation is charged with developing new irrigation opportunities.
Tasmanian Irrigation also manages existing irrigation schemes in Tasmania, including the South East Irrigation Scheme (Craigebourne Dam). Other irrigation schemes are self managed by local water entities.
See Irrigation Development for more information.
The State Government, with the support of Local Government, has introduced wide ranging structural and regulatory reforms that will improve the delivery of water and sewerage services in Tasmania.
Principally, the responsibility for the provision of drinking water and sewerage services has been removed from local Councils and invested in three new regional Corporations.
For further information on Tasmania’s urban water and sewerage industry structure and regulation, please see Urban Water and Sewerage Reform.
The EPA Division regulates Level 2 (>100 kilolitres/day) Sewage Treatment Plants in Tasmania and offers advice and guidance on wastewater issues.
See http://epa.tas.gov.au/regulation/more-about-wastewater for more information and contacts.
Guidelines for the use of recycled water in Tasmania:
On-site waste water management systems (<100 kilolitres/day - including accredited domestic systems):
The EPA Division ensures that water quality measures are consistent with the objectives of the State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997(SPWQM). The main objective of the Policy is to maintain or enhance water quality.
The Division also aims to address the problems associated with water pollution through a process of detection, control and remediation. It is responsible for the environmental assessment of high-risk activities that have significant potential to pollute waterways and may use the enforcement provisions of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 to require the clean-up and remediation of waterbodies affected by industrial pollution.
To report a suspected pollution incident see: www.environment.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=351
EPA Division: www.epa.tas.gov.au
The Derwent Estuary Program is working to restore the Derwent Estuary through water quality monitoring programs and its water quality improvement plan: www.derwentestuary.org.au
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regulates the quality of drinking water from all public reticulated drinking water supply systems. All water suppliers of public reticulated drinking water supply systems must meet the requirements of The Public Health Act 1997 Drinking Water Quality Guidelines to ensure the water is safe to use, or that consumers are advised if it is not regarded as potable.
The Guidelines require that water authorities develop drinking water quality management plans, to help ensure that each step in the drinking water supply system assists in eliminating, or reducing to an acceptable level, any undesirable contaminants which may be present in the source water.
Drinking water suppliers provide the Department of Health and Human Services an Annual Report covering a range of matters relevant to public health. The Annual Water Reports detail each drinking water supplier’s compliance with the Water Quality Guidelines for the water supply systems under their control and also describe the various systems in place for the protection of public health.
- Diagnostic Services (Prospect) provides a microbiological, effluent and water quality testing service: Microbiological Laboratory
- Analytical Services Tasmania (New Town): phone 6230 7000
The Tasmanian River Catchment Water Quality Initiative is undertaking research into the behaviour of pesticides in the Tasmanian environment and the development of a valid risk assessment model for predicting potential impacts of pesticide usage on water quality. This work will help land managers select appropriate chemicals for the local environment and help governments and water authorities target monitoring programs at those chemicals more likely to present a risk of contamination and impact.
Pesticide Monitoring in Water Catchments
Aerial and Ground Spraying Review
The Tasmanian Natural Resource Management groups in the North, South and Cradle Coast areas work to prevent waterway decline resulting from poor land and waterway management. Advice and incentives for riparian land management and streamside restoration is available in some areas.
To contact your local NRM group see:
Dealing with flood damage: this fact sheet tells you how to deal with debris and log jams following floods.
See Useful Links for more information about riparian management.
Hydro Tasmania has a special water licence to take water for generation purposes.
Hydro Tasmania manages an extensive network of modified lakes, rivers, streams and canals, flowing through a diverse range of landforms and land use zones, each of which have unique aquatic issues. Hydro Tasmania recognises that water is central to its business and that for its business to be sustainable, the aquatic environment must contain healthy ecosystems.
Hydro Tasmania website: www.hydro.com.au
Department switchboard: 1300 368 550 (local call cost within Australia)