On site domestic wastewater management revised Standard published

Issue 36 – March 2012

Standards New Zealand has published AS/NZS 1547:2012 On-site domestic wastewater management. The purpose of AS/NZS 1547 is to provide the performance objectives, requirements, and criteria to achieve sustainable and effective on-site domestic wastewater management, and to protect public health and the environment. The Standard not only provides the means of complying with these requirements, but of continually improving the techniques employed by all stakeholders.

The Standard is used by regulatory authorities, systems suppliers, design consultants, wastewater practitioners, and industry trainers. The 2012 version of AS/NZS 1547 incorporates risk management principles to ensure that risks from on-site systems are managed to avoid adverse effects on public health and the environment.

AS/NZS 1547 provides the requirements for treatment units and their land application systems and:

  • should be read in conjunction with the relevant regional and district plans, bylaws, and regulations

  • applies to systems used to treat wastewater from household or personal activities including water closets, urinals, kitchens, bathrooms (including showers, washbasins, baths, and spa baths, but not spa pools or hot tubs), and laundries

  • covers systems for domestic wastewater flows up to 14 000 L/week, from a population equivalent of up to 10 persons, and includes primary, secondary, and disinfection wastewater treatment systems. Specific details are given for septic tanks, other wastewater treatment units, and land application systems

  • does not cover systems for the treatment of wastewater from commercial and industrial sources, or stormwater.

An expert committee updated AS/NZS 1547 using a consensus-based approach. This included widespread consultation, review by industry experts, and public input. The revised AS/NZS 1547:

  • includes updates on on-site wastewater system design and management consistent with improvements in practice since publication of the 2000 edition

  • allows for the integration of the design, construction, installation, and maintenance of on-site domestic wastewater systems into a risk management framework

  • expresses features such as monitoring and feedback more clearly

  • includes an Appendix that outlines where the equivalent clauses from AS/NZS 1547:2000 are now located in the 2012 version

  • supersedes AS/NZS 1547:2000.

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