Guide to Water Authority Compliance in Australia
Water pollution is taken very seriously in Australia. If untreated waste water enters waterways, it poses a significant health and environmental risk to humans, animals and plants.
Waste water contaminated with oil or chemicals is a by-product of many industrial and commercial activities, including construction, restaurants, automotive and food processing.
The government recognises the need for these businesses to be viable, whilst maintaining a healthy environment and society. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the national body which administers and enforces legislation relating to pollution and the environment, including treatment and discharge of trade waste water.
A breach of local water authority compliance and treatment requirements can result in fines, injunctions or prosecution brought by the EPA.
Don’t get caught out. Contact Cleanawater on 1800 353 788 to make sure that your business is water authority compliant.
What businesses are required to be water authority compliant?
Any industrial or commercial business which generates waste water as part of normal operations will need to comply with water authority discharge regulations. Trade waste is generated by all kinds of businesses, from cafes to large scale manufacturing industries.
The following industries are typical examples of where water authority compliance is required:
- Mechanical workshops
- Industrial wash down bays
- Construction sites
- Car washes
- Service stations are refuelling areas
- Restaurants and hospitality
- Industrial equipment branches
- Food and beverage plants
How can a business become water authority compliant?
Any business that produces industrial or commercial waste water needs to contact their local water authority or local council shire to apply for a permit to discharge.
This agreement specifies that your business will appropriately manage any trade waste water it creates. This involves treating waste water using a pre-treatment device before disposing it through an approved discharge point.
Cleanawater offer a wide range of water treatment devices to suit businesses of all sizes and budgets, Australia-wide.
Some common pre-treatment devices include:
Consequences of non-compliance
If your business generates any kind of commercial or industrial waste water and allows it to run off into storm water drains you may be in breach of EPA regulations.
Victorian environmental law, such as the Environmental Protection Act 1970 and Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1986 establish offences relating to environmental damage caused by water pollution.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the Victorian environmental body which administers and enforces this legislation. If an offence is committed by an organisation, the director or responsible officer is held liable for the offence.
The EPAs response to a breach in water pollution is measured according to the likelihood of non-compliance and the risk to the environment. Depending on the balance between these two factors, the EPA can choose an appropriate response, which can range from a penalty notice to license suspension or prosecution.
Who do I speak to if I’m unsure about water authority compliance?
There are a number of resources available on the EPAs website relating to business standards and compliance guidelines.
You can also contact your local water authority for information about upgrading your operations, as well as fees and charges for the disposal of trade waste water.
If you are looking for a waste water treatment solution, Cleanawater offers a wide range of waste water treatment devices to suit Australian businesses of all sizes and budgets.
As a member of the Savewater! Alliance, we work with business and government to ensure that Australia's water resources are managed effectively and efficiently.
Contact Cleanawater on 1800 353 788 to discuss your business’ water treatment requirements.
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