The Queensland Water Directorate has announced that new guidelines and model operating conditions for ERA 63 (Sewage Treatment) have been approved and released by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP). The documents are now available on the business and industry portal.
This release comes after a significant period of negotiation with DEHP through the qldwater Expert Panel for ERA 63. qldwater says that the new model conditions are a vast improvement on previous processes and the consultation with the industry by DEHP was strong and well managed.
The body also states that there are still elements of the model conditions it would like to change and any feedback from members is welcome. The ERA 63 Expert Panel will continue to review the implementation of the conditions and influence any future amendments to create practical conditions for sewerage service providers. DEHP acknowledged with the release of the documents that there are some outstanding issues and they are “open to continuing conversations to find solutions”. The have also promised to continue their consultation with the industry in future particularly when there is a need to amend the conditions as issues arise or policies change.
The other element of ERA 63 – the standard conditions for sewage pump stations – is yet to be resolved. In eFlash 225 in April qldwater reported that DEHP had offered to remove this aspect of the legislation if the industry agreed to establish an Industry Code of Practice for pumping stations and sewerage systems. qldwater released a position paper outlining the potential costs and benefits of the proposed change to canvas industry opinion. To date all respondents have supported the creation of an Industry Code of Practice but qldwater would like to receive responses from more small and medium providers. The deadline for a response is the 27th of June.