October 2002, Ref. ME641
The Ministry has been aware for some years of the difficulties that have been faced by territorial and regulatory authorities in setting wastewater monitoring programmes that are consistent and appropriate. In response to this need MfE has funded, in combination with a number of local authorities, the preparation of these guidelines.
The Guidelines present a unique risk analysis methodology to develop a monitoring programme for municipal/community wastewater discharges. This methodology sets out a step-by-step process for analysing the risks, using a series of 'look-up' tables and a worksheet to document the risk analysis. The risk analysis involves characterising the discharge (by characterising the untreated wastewater and the effectiveness of the wastewater treatment plant), the sensitivity of the receiving environment to the discharge and community values.
The risk analysis methodology enables the user to develop a "risk profile" for the discharge, which will provide clear guidance on what level of monitoring is appropriate, and which components of the discharge and receiving environment have the highest priority for monitoring.