Recycled Water

Recycled Water

The water recycled at our wastewater treatment plants is put back into use. You can read about some of those uses here.

Recycled water supplied to your home can be easily identified. It's distributed in purple pipes. The water is supplied separately from your drinking water.

Recycled water has many benefits including:

  • Reducing discharges of treated wastewater to the Gulf St Vincent.
  • Increasing the annual reuse of treated wastewater from our major treatment plants.
  • Supporting industries to grow by providing secure water supplies.

What can I use recycled water for?

You can use recycled water for things like:

  • Watering lawns, parks and gardens
  • Flushing toilets
  • Washing cars
  • Filling ornamental ponds (with no fish)
  • Filling water features
  • Watering your garden (including fruit trees, vegetables and flowers)
  • Washing pets
  • Evaporative coolers and air conditioners. (Note: No matter what water source is used, ensure any bleed off does not enter rainwater tanks or drinking water systems).

What is recycled water not suitable for?

Recycled water is not drinkable. But there are other things you can't use it for. These include:

  • Cooking or other kitchen use (such as rinsing vegetables)
  • Personal washing, such as baths, showers, bidets and hand basins
  • Household cleaning
  • Filling swimming pools and spas
  • Recreational activities involving water (including children playing under sprinklers)

How will I know if I have recycled water on my property?

Recycled water is supplied on a separate system, and the pipes are a distinctive purple. If you have recycled water, you will have a separate meter. The meter is purple too.

Recycled Water Meter

What are the major recycled water schemes in South Australia?

We have completed several major projects to bring recycled water to where it is needed most, below are some examples.

We use recycled water in Adelaide's parklands

Water is brought from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant to water the Adelaide Parklands. A minimum of 1.3 billion litres is supplied through purple pipes to provide a long-term water solution to green our capital city. This project also contributes to a range of other environmental benefits including:

  • Increasing the annual reuse of treated wastewater from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant by more than three times.
  • Improving the health of the River Torrens and quality of the water in Torrens Lake.

For more information on this project, read our factsheet.

We use recycled water in the southern suburbs

Since 2011, sewage collected at the Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant has been treated and provided to 8,000 homes in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. This was delivered as part of the Southern Urban Reuse Scheme. Residents use it for irrigation and toilet flushing.

Market gardeners in Virginia use recycled water to irrigate their crops

The Virginia Pipeline Scheme (VPS) provides recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant for horticultural irrigation to around 360 customers in Virginia and surrounds.

The scheme comprises a system of distribution pipelines, two pump stations and an uncovered storage lagoon at Bolivar. The existing VPS contract, which started in 1997, is between SA Water and Water Reticulation Services Virginia, a legal entity wholly owned by TRILITY. The contract expires on 31 December 2017.

For more information, download our Residential Recycled Water Household Guide or take our 30 minute recycled water safety audit


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  • Henley Beach South
  • 18/12/2017
  • Water Off
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