Recycled water

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Recycled water is really just water! We take your wastewater — the water from your toilets, showers, kitchens, and laundries, and run it through a multi-step process to treat and remove the impurities, so that it can be safely reused.

Where available, the end product can be used:

  • On playing fields
  • In homes for toilets, washing machines and gardening
  • By businesses like nurseries, bowling greens, golf courses, car washes and commercial laundries.

Recycled water is not for drinking, but it's a great way for us all to save our precious drinking water supplies and reduce the amount of waste entering our environment. 

How is water recycled?

Our Recycled Water Treatment Plants use a multi-step process to make the wastewater safe to use again. There are National and NSW State Government Guidelines for the production and use of recycled water that we need to follow.

The steps include:

  • Ultraviolet Light Disinfection to kill bacteria and viruses
  • Straining to remove larger contaminants
  • Microfiltration to remove any parasites
  • Reverse Osmosis which gets rid of chemicals and salts
  • Another round of Ultraviolet Light Disinfection to destroy organic chemicals
  • Sodium Hypochlorite Disinfection which adds chorine, and finally
  • Mineralisation to add calcium back into the water to balance the pH levels.

Using recycled water

Recycled water comes to you through purple pipes that are completely separate from our drinking water.

You’ll know if you have access to recycled water at your property if you have a purple water meter at your place, or your toilet, garden and laundry taps are purple.  All taps have bright yellow signs close by that say 'Recycled water – do not drink. These taps will also turn in the opposite direction to your other taps, and you will have recycled water charges on your water bill.

Recycled water is not suitable for drinking.

If you live in the new parts of Thrumster, Lake Cathie, or Bonny Hills, chances are you will have purple pipes at your place. We’re still working through all the checks and balances to get you recycled water, so at the moment your purple pipes are carrying drinking water. Don’t worry – we’ll let you know before we turn on the recycled water.

Connecting you to recycled water

Recycled water isn’t available for all residents yet. We’re still building the infrastructure to carry the water to residential areas.

Our Recycled Water Treatment Plant is located at Hindman Street in Port Macquarie. We can make up to 2 mega litres of recycled water each day – this is around 10% of the average daily demand on our drinking water supply in Port Macquarie alone and almost enough to fill an Olympic sized pool!

We’re building more treatment plants at Lake Cathie/Bonny Hills and connecting Thrumster to the Port Macquarie network. We’re aiming to start bringing these online from mid-2022. Until then, we’re sending drinking water through your purple pipes.