1. Water Quality
  2. Water Quality Guidelines
  3. Guideline values
  4. Default guideline values
  5. Pathway for toxicant default guideline value publication

Pathway for toxicant default guideline value publication

​​​​​​​​The publication of default guideline values (DGVs) on the Water Quality Guidelines website involves a publication approval process (refer to Figure 1) that includes initial approval to develop a DGV, development of the DGV and final approval.​

All toxicant DGVs published in the Water Quality Guidelines from 2018 onwards, whether funded through the Water Quality Guidelines or contributed by third parties, are subject to a period of public comment.

When a draft DGV has successfully passed through the public comment phase, it will be considered fully endorsed, and published on the website as the approved DGV (refer to Figure 1).

Figure 1 Default guideline value publication approval process

<p>Flowchart showing the approval process<br>    <br>    Approval process is:<br>    <br>    • Develop WQPSC approved DGVs;<br>    • Derive using approved method;<br>    • Independent peer review;<br>    • Draft DGVs endorsed by technical manager, recommended by  technical oversight group, and approved by WQPSC;<br>    • Publish as draft on WQG website for public comment;<br>    • Submission responses assessed by technical  manager/oversight group;<br>    • DGV published as final if no review required;<br>    • If review required, re-start at peer review step.</p>  <p>For third party proposed DGVs:<br>    • Request approval to develop DGV for the WQG;<br>    •  Begin at Develop WQPSC approved DGVs step.</p> 

​DGVs = Default guideline values, WQG = Water Quality Guidelines, WQPSC = Water Quality Policy Subcommittee

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Draft default guideline values

Each new or revised toxicant DGV will be published as draft for public comment (Table 1) for a period of three months as part of our approval process. Until the approval process has been successfully completed, the draft DGV should not be used or referred to as an Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality DGV. Until an approved new/revised DGV has been published, the previously-published DGV of the 2000 Guidelines remain current. You may use the ‘search for toxicant default guideline values’ page to search all available DGVs.

Draft new or revised DGVs should become available from mid-2019.

If you want to know when the new or revised DGVs have been published, please subscribe for updates.

Submit a response

Provide feedback on a draft DGV during its 3-month public comment period by sending us a completed Submission on the draft toxicant DGV.

Table 1 Toxicant DGVs for water and sediment — drafts for public comment

ToxicantDocuments to reviewPublic comment period closes

Proposed default guidelines values

Development of draft DGVs involves 3 stages:

  • Approved for review process — proposed DGV approved for development and derivation has commenced
  • Submitted — proposed DGV developed, including supporting data and information, and submitted for review
  • Under consideration — proposed DGV under review, including independent peer review and finalisation based on peer review comments.

Check what is being developed

A number of proposed DGVs have been derived and submitted for consideration to be included in the Water Quality Guidelines as DGVs. These are at different stages of the submission process and are listed in Table 2.

Table 2 Toxicant default guideline values being developed for water and sediment

2,4–DFreshwaterUnder consideration
Alpha–cypermethrinFreshwaterUnder consideration
AmmoniaFreshwaterUnder consideration
Bisphenol–AMarine waterUnder consideration
BoronFreshwaterUnder consideration
ChlorineMarine waterUnder consideration
Chromium (III)FreshwaterUnder consideration
CopperFreshwaterUnder consideration
Marine waterUnder consideration
DioxinsFreshwaterUnder consideration
FipronilFreshwaterUnder consideration
GlyphosateFreshwaterUnder consideration
IronMarine waterUnder consideration
MancozebFreshwaterUnder consideration
ManganeseMarine waterUnder consideration
MCPAFreshwaterUnder consideration
MetolachlorFreshwaterUnder consideration
Metsulfuron-methylFreshwaterUnder consideration
NitrateFreshwaterUnder consideration
ParaquatFreshwaterUnder consideration
PFOA (perfluoro-octanoic acid)FreshwaterUnder consideration
PFOS (perfluorooctane sulphonate)FreshwaterUnder consideration
PicloramFreshwaterUnder consideration
SimazineFreshwaterUnder consideration
Marine waterUnder consideration
SulfometuronFreshwaterUnder consideration
ZincFreshwaterUnder consideration
Marine waterUnder consideration

Third party process for proposing default guideline values

Third-parties can propose DGVs for toxicants in water or sediment. These will need to be derived (using the approved method) and funded by third parties for publication on the Water Quality Guidelines website.

Third party proposed DGVs can be contributed by:

  • governments (e.g. intergovernmental committees, state or territory governments, local governments)
  • other proponents (e.g. regional or community groups, industry groups, businesses).

Benefits of contributions by third parties

  • Give the public and water quality managers access to more toxicant DGVs, sooner.
  • Provide proponents with an opportunity to propose new toxicant DGVs that are of interest to them, and if accepted, will result in new toxicant DGVs being developed.
  • Help governments to save costs through the development of additional toxicant DGVs.

Instructions for third-parties to contribute a proposed default guideline value

Before you propose a third-party DGV for publication on the Water Quality Guidelines website, please check:

  1. current toxicant DGVs in fresh and marine water
  2. current toxicant DGVs in sediment
  3. toxicant DGVs for water and sediment — drafts for public comment (Table 1)
  4. toxicant DGVs being developed for water and sediment (Table 2)
  5. toxicant DGVs proposed by third parties (Table 3)

If the toxicant is not listed, then you may submit a request to develop a DGV for consideration. If your proposal is approved, you can start to develop a DGV in line with our publication approval process (refer to Figure 1).

A cost is associated with the review process for each submission.

  • Each proposed toxicant DGV submitted for review will be processed based on an assessment of priority and budget availability. Funding the development of a DGV may escalate its priority.
  • There is currently a waiting list for reviewing third-party proposed toxicant DGVs (Table 3).

Table 3 List of default guideline values proposed by third parties

2, 4-DMarine water
AluminiumMarine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
FipronilMarine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
LeadMarine water
MCPAMarine water
Marine water
Marine water
PFOA (perfluoro-octanoic acid)Marine water
PFOS (perfluorooctane sulphonate)Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
Marine water
TerbuthylazineFresh water
Marine water
TerbutrynFreshwater and marine water (combined)
Marine water

Approved reviewers for proposed toxicant default guideline values

Every toxicant DGV needs to be peer reviewed by at least 2 peer reviewers. As a part of the independent peer review process, third-parties will need to engage peer reviewers approved by the Water Quality Guidelines team.