Recycled water network

How we re-use water

Wastewater that's been used in homes and businesses can be recycled and treated so it's clean and safe. We put it through a multi-step treatment process to remove impurities and ensure it's safe for its intended purpose. The purified water can be used in homes and businesses, in industry, to irrigate parks, farms and playing fields and for river health.


What's included in our recycled water network

We own and operate:

  • 14 water recycling plants, including 2 plants operated by other companies on our behalf – Veolia operates our Gerringong-Gerroa plant, and Deerubbin Water Futures operates St Marys Advanced Water Treatment Plant
  • 776 kilometres of recycled water mains
  • 9 recycled water reservoirs
  • 11 recycled water pumping stations. 

Our water recycling plants treat wastewater to a high level according to the strict standards in the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. This ensures recycled water is safe and suitable for its intended use. 

We have 9 recycled water reservoirs supplying residential areas with recycled water.


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 about producing recycled water and how it's used in homes and businesses, and to support river health.

Read about our projects that recycle water using Sewer mining (970KB) and Stormwater harvesting (1.5MB).


How we recycle water

All of our water recycling plants use multiple steps to treat wastewater so it can be safely used again. The level of treatment provided depends on how the recycled water will be used. There are 4 main stages of wastewater treatment used in producing recycled water:

  1. Primary treatment, which involves physical screens and grit removal.
  2. Secondary treatment, which generally involves nutrient removal (using anoxic/aerobic biological reactors or Intermittently Decanted Aerated Lagoons and clarification.
  3. Tertiary treatment, which may involve coagulation/flocculation, clarification, media filtration and disinfection (chlorination and/or UV disinfection).
  4. Advanced tertiary treatment, which may include ultra filtration, micro-filtration, including reverse osmosis plus disinfection.

We treat recycled water at one of 14 water recycling plants so it's fit for purpose.

Other cities around the world use different processes, with some treating the wastewater to drinking water quality. 

Learn more about producing recycled water and the different treatment processes we use.


Where our water recycling plants are

Treatment plant Treatment level Discharge (ML/day) Discharge location

Bombo

Secondary and de-nitrification and disinfection

3.7

Headland north of Bombo Beach

Supplies to Minnamurra Golf Club

Castle Hill

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus removal and disinfection)

6.5

Cattai Creek

Supplies to Castle Hill Country Club

Gerringong–Gerroa

Partial tertiary
(includes screening, storm tank or primary sedimentation, ponding and chlorination)

1.26

Re-used for on-site agricultural irrigation

Excess discharged to sand dune systems

Once sand dunes reach capacity, excess is discharged to Crooked River

Glenfield

Partial tertiary
(includes screening, storm tank or primary sedimentation, ponding and chlorination)

0

Treated wastewater transported to Malabar

Occasionally discharged to Georges River in wet weather

Liverpool

Secondary
(includes screening, de-gritting, primary sedimentation, ponding and chlorination)

0

Treated wastewater transported to Malabar

Re-used at Liverpool Golf Course and Warwick Farm Race Course

Also supplies to Fairfield Water Recycling Plant (operated by Aquanet and Veolia Water) under Rosehill Recycled Water Scheme

Occasionally discharged to Georges River in wet weather

Picton

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus removal and disinfection)

1.5

Re-used on-site for agricultural irrigation precautionary discharge to Stone Quarry Creek

Penrith

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus and nitrogen removal and disinfection)

23.1

Re-used locally

Remainder transferred to St Marys Advanced Water Treatment Plant

Some excess discharged to Boundary Creek

Quakers Hill

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus and nitrogen removal and disinfection)

35.4

Re-used locally

Remainder transferred to St Marys Advanced Water Treatment Plant

Some excess discharged to Breakfast Creek

Richmond

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus removal and disinfection)

2.2

Re-used for irrigation at University of Western Sydney – Richmond Campus

Also re-used for irrigation at Richmond Golf Course

Excess overflows to Rickabys Creek

Rouse Hill

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus and nitrogen removal and disinfection) also includes ultraviolet irradiation and super-chlorination for re-use water

15.3

Recycled back to households for non-drinking use

Excess discharged to Second Ponds Creek via wetlands to Cattai Creek

St Marys

Tertiary
(includes ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, de-carbonation, additional phosphorous and nitrogen removal and disinfection)

39.2

Re-used locally and at Dunheved

Remainder transferred to St Marys Advanced Water Treatment Plant

Some excess discharged to South Creek

West Camden

Tertiary
(includes additional phosphorus removal and disinfection)

13.1

Re-used at Agricultural Institute

Remainder discharged via Matahill Creek to the Nepean River

Wollongong

Tertiary and disinfection

49.84

Re-used at BlueScope Steel

Remainder discharged via offshore outfall with diffuser zone

St Marys Advanced Water Treatment Plant

Reverse osmosis and ultra filtration

42

Receives flow from St Marys, Quakers Hill and Penrith WRP to produce highly treated water discharged to Boundary Creek under Western Sydney Replacement Flows Recycled Water Scheme


How we monitor recycled water quality

We do routine checks on the quality of our recycled water. Our customers may use recycled water for:

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

We check that the water:

We test recycled water to ensure that it is treated to an appropriate standard for its intended use.

We publish the results of our tests within 14 days of the last test results becoming available. You can see the results of our EPA monitoring reports for all our wastewater treatment plants, including those that recycle water.