Melbourne Water develops new acceptance criteria for trade waste parameters

Melbourne Water has developed an advanced OH&S Risk Assessment methodology for trade waste variation referrals in the sewer environment to meet the sewage quality objective 'Safety of People'. 

This OH&S Risk Assessment methodology has been developed by Melbourne Water, in conjunction with retail water corporations City West Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water.

The methodology considers personal exposure routes against known exposure standards, and has been used to calculate new Acceptance Criteria (limits) for 21 common trade waste parameters.

The new Acceptance Criteria will update the current limits detailed within the retail water corporations customers' Trade Waste Agreements. These parameters include:


​Compound ​Current limit (mg/L) ​New limit (mg/L) ​Limiting exposure route
​Fluoride ​30 ​220 Ingestion and Dermal​
​Acetone ​50 ​380 ​Inhalation
​Epichlorohydrin ​0.3 ​3.9 ​Inhalation
​1,3-Dinitrobenzene ​0.001 ​0.34 ​Ingestion and Dermal
​2-Butanone (MEK) ​0.001 ​90 ​Inhalation
​2-Butoxyethanol ​0.001 ​295 ​Inhalation
​2-Ethyl hexanol ​0.001 ​155 ​Inhalation
​Acenaphthene ​0.001 ​0.016 ​Inhalation
​Acetic acid ​0.001 ​1085 ​Inhalation
​Acrylic acid (2-Propenoic acid) ​0.001 ​1015 ​Inhalation
​Allyl alcohol (2-Propen-1-ol) ​0.001 ​9.1 ​Inhalation
​Ethanol ​0.001 ​3765 ​Inhalation
​Ethylene glycol ​0.001 ​4000 ​Ingestion and Dermal
​Isobutanol ​0.001 ​140 ​Inhalation
​Isopropanol ​0.001 ​1155 ​Inhalation
​Malathion ​0.001 ​85 ​Ingestion and Dermal
​Methanol ​0.001 ​615 ​Inhalation
​Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) ​0.001 ​6.1 ​Inhalation
​Napthalene ​0.001 ​1.3 ​Inhalation
​Propylene glycol ​0.001 ​4000 ​Ingestion and Dermal
​Tetrahydrofuran ​0.001 ​75 ​Inhalation


A period of consultation is now open until 21st February 2017.  Customers are invited to submit any queries or concerns they may have regarding these changes to the Acceptance Criteria.

If you wish to provide feedback please contact [email protected]

Note that submissions may be published on the Melbourne Water website unless it is specified that a submission or part of a submission is confidential.

It is anticipated that the new Acceptance Criteria will be applicable by the end of June 2017, pending approval from the Essential Services Commission. 

Media contact
Josie Emanuel (03) 9679 7311; 0428 945 556