Water in Tasmania - who is responsible?

A number of bodies aside from DPIPWE 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 provides sources of further information.

Irrigation Schemes and Development

Tasmanian Irrigation is charged with developing and managing new irrigation schemes. Other irrigation schemes are self managed by local water entities.

See Tasmanian Irrigation's website for information on individual schemes: www.tasmanianirrigation.com.au

Household Water Supply and Sewerage Services

TasWater has responsibility for the provision of drinking water and sewerage services.  Please contact TasWater for issues with domestic water supply or your household water account.

For further information on Tasmania's urban water and sewerage industry structure and regulation, please see Urban Water and Sewerage Reform.


Wastewater and water reuse

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.

Further Information

Guidelines for the use of recycled water in Tasmania:
http://epa.tas.gov.au/regulation/effluent-reuse-guidelines

On-site waste water management systems
http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/building/plumbing/waste_water_management

Water Quality and Water Pollution

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:  http://epa.tas.gov.au/epa/notification-of-pollution-incidents

Further Information

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

Drinking Water Quality

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.

Further Information


Water Testing Services

These laboratories - one based in the north and one in the south of the state - can carry out tests on water samples.
Please contact them for specifications and the fees that apply.
  • Diagnostic Services (Prospect)
  • Analytical Services Tasmania (New Town)

See Water Testing Laboratories for contact details.


Streamside Restoration

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-Electricity

Hydro Tasmania has a special licence to take water for generation purposes in line with the Government’s energy policy and strategy, and in accordance with the Energy Supply Plan.

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.

See Hydro Tasmania website: www.hydro.com.au


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