This guidance document on Dechlorination of Drinking Water Discharged to Waterways is to be used by water utilities that manage waterways or discharges chlorinated water to the environment. It is also intended to guide regulators in understanding the drivers, barriers and opportunities facing organisations around the subject of chlorinated water discharges. Chlorinated water refers to both free and combined forms of chlorine in discharges (i.e. chlorine and chloramines).
Utilities nationally and internationally differ greatly in their approach to removing chlorine from discharges. Some organisations and their Regulators view chlorine as a toxic pollutant and others do not consider it an environmental issue. In reality, chlorine is a widely used disinfectant that has been found to have an impact on the ecological health of waterways. This guidance document provides a review of the scientific and legislative aspects of chlorinated water discharges, outlines current Australian approaches and then makes best management practice recommendations. Current gaps in knowledge and opportunities for research and collaboration are also outlined.
This document is not intended to replace existing procedures that have been implemented by utilities to the satisfaction of their respective regulators.