Recycled water systems

How we reuse water

Wastewater used in homes and businesses can be treated through a multi-step process to remove impurities and ensure it's safe and clean for other uses. Using recycled water for non-drinking purposes makes our drinking water supply go further and can help delay the need to invest in new infrastructure.

Our recycled water systems

We own and operate:

  • water resource recovery facilities, which produce recycled water
  • a network of over 800 kilometres of recycled water pipes
  • 9 recycled water reservoirs
  • 12 recycled water pumping stations. 

Our water resource recovery facilities treat wastewater to a high level, adhering to the strict standards in the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. This ensures recycled water is safe and suitable for its intended use. 

9 recycled water reservoirs supply recycled water to residential areas.

Recycled water can be used to irrigate golf courses.

How recycled water can be used

Recycled water can be used to:

  • water gardens, golf courses and parks
  • flush toilets
  • wash cars
  • fight fires.

It can also be used for some industrial purposes and to supplement river flow.

Find out more about producing recycled water, and how recycled water is used in homes and businesses, and to support river health.

It's also possible for customers to access our system to produce their own recycled water. Take a look at our sewer mining and stormwater harvesting fact sheets.

How we recycle water

All our facilities use multiple steps to treat wastewater so it can be safely used again. The level of treatment provided depends on how it will be used. These are the main stages of wastewater treatment used in producing recycled water:

  1. Primary treatment, which involves physical screens and grit removal. 
  2. Secondary treatment, which uses microorganisms to remove nutrients.
  3. Tertiary treatment, which removes finer particles and reduces nutrients to very low levels.
  4. Disinfection using chlorine or ultraviolet light, which inactivates any remaining microorganisms.
  5. Advanced tertiary treatment, using membranes, including ultrafiltration, microfiltration, and reverse osmosis.

Water resource recovery facilities treat recycled water so it's fit for purpose.

Recycled water is tested to ensure it's treated to an appropriate standard for its intended use.

How we monitor recycled water quality

Our customers may use recycled water for:

  • industrial purposes
  • irrigation
  • approved uses in some residential areas, such as the Rouse Hill residential scheme.

We routinely monitor the quality of our recycled water. We check that the water:

We publish the results of our tests in our EPA monitoring reports for all our water resource recovery facilities, including those that recycle water.