About the AWRCoE Knowledge Hub Research Projects List of Publications Corporate Publications

National Validation Framework – Road Map

The Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (2006) require water treatment technologies to be validated before the water recycling scheme is operational. Validation is the confirmation that a specific treatment technology meets the performance target allocated to that technology. The guidelines describe the concept of validation but do not specify how it should be done. There is currently no consistent approach to validating water treatment technology across Australia. As a result, validation of identical or similar technologies can often be replicated in multiple states/territories, causing unnecessary duplication of work for the regulators, as well as delays, inconsistencies and an increase in costs before a scheme is commissioned.

The primary purpose of Stage 1 of the National Validation (NatVal) project was to deliver a road map on how to develop a national validation framework for water recycling schemes in Australia, consistent with the Water Recycling Guidelines. The framework must be practical, feasible and accepted by regulators, water authorities and suppliers in all jurisdictions. Water Quality Research Australia was the project leader for this phase of the program. The final road map report and supporting material were received in December 2011 and signed off by the Centre in January 2012.

The road map identifies and reports on:

  • key stakeholders that need to be engaged
  • relevant knowledge gaps
  • institutional obstacles and barriers to the development and acceptance of the framework
  • key knowledge and skills required.

The road map is divided into a series of specific work packages called ‘street map reports’, breaking the overall task into manageable subtasks, and focusing on assessment of key aspects that were considered when developing the national validation framework. The street maps report on current and available techniques for validation of different water recycling projects, as well as important criteria that must be met to satisfy all parties involved.
The road map sets out the direction of the second stage of the project, including needs identification and commitments of key players to work towards implementation of a national approach when validating water treatment schemes.

Download the NatVal Roadmap Report.


Following extensive consultation with urban and regional utilities, state and territory regulators, technical experts and technology suppliers, the project team developed a national validation framework for treatment schemes.

The team found there is a strong desire for a national framework for validating individual treatment technologies used in water recycling, but the project identified a number of significant knowledge gaps, including:

  • the absence of current rules or guidelines to validate specific technologies
  • lack of knowledge sharing on existing schemes and validation already undertaken
  • insufficient available data to assess the feasibility of a national approach
  • lack of quality assurance programs for measurement requirements within validation programs.

Conversely, there were relatively few knowledge gaps and barriers identified that would prevent the implementation of a national validation framework.

The project team successfully delivered:

  • an overall national validation road map outlining stakeholder consultation, current knowledge gaps and research needs, potential barriers to implementation and a preliminary business case
  • a series of detailed street map reports supporting the road map report and assessing key aspects of currently available techniques for validation.

The final road map presents a series of recommendations to be implemented as part of the second stage when moving towards full implementation of a national validation framework.



Lead organisation: Water Quality Research Australia

Partner organisations:

  • The University of New South Wales
  • Water Corporation (Western Australia)
  • RMIT University
  • Victoria University
  • South Australia Health
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Water Futures
  • Monash University
  • The University of Queensland
  • Griffith University
  • NMI
  • Australian Water Quality Centre
  • Muston & Associates
  • Integrated Elements
  • Mid Coast Water

About the AWRCoE Knowledge Hub Research Projects List of Publications Corporate Publications