Recycled Water

Recycled Water

As Australians become more water efficient, we’re using more recycled water. This is being made possible by treating wastewater or stormwater and delivering it through a separate network so we can use it safely for a range of purposes.

By incorporating recycled water in new residential developments to flush toilets and water gardens, we’re making better use of available water sources.

On average, South Australians use about 40 per cent of their water outside their homes, primarily in the garden. By treating wastewater and making it available through a separate system, safe clean drinking water is reserved for just that, as well as food preparation and personal hygiene.

Matching the way we source and treat water with how it will be used, benefits the environment by reducing our demand for drinking water. It also reduces the amount of treated wastewater discharged to sea.

Find out more about sewage treatment here.

How to know if you have recycled water

Recycled water is supplied on a separate system using purple pipes. If your property is supplied with recycled water, you will have a separate, purple water meter.

If your property is supplied with recycled water, it is important you complete our 30 minute safety audit once every five years.  

Using recycled water safely

Your recycled water supply has been treated at a wastewater treatment plant to a standard that is safe for a range of household purposes. These include flushing toilets, watering gardens, and washing cars.

It is not safe for drinking.

There are potential health risks associated with the cross connection of drinking and recycled water supplies. It is important all work on any of your pipework is completed by a licensed plumber.

The recycled pipework and outlets on your property have a distinctive purple colour. This helps to easily identify them and ensure the recycled water supply does not get connected to your drinking water supply.

You can safely use recycled water to

  • water lawns and gardens including fruit trees, vegetables and flowers
  • flush toilets
  • wash cars
  • fill water features and ornamental ponds (with no fish)
  • wash pets
  • operate evaporative coolers and air conditioners.

Please keep your recycled water supply clear from rainwater tanks and drinking water systems.

Your recycled water supply is not for:

  • drinking
  • cooking or food preparation tasks such as rinsing vegetables
  • personal washing including baths, showers, hand basins and bidets or brushing of teeth
  • indoor cleaning
  • use in swimming pools and spas
  • recreational activities, including children playing under sprinklers.

Check with the manufacturer before connecting appliances to your recycled water supply. Recycled water has a higher level of nutrients and salinity than drinking water. Consult your local nursery or garden supplier for expert advice on using recycled water in your garden.

For more information including an audit checklist visit sawater.com.au or call us on 1300 650 950.

Where we supply recycled water

Adelaide's parklands

Recycled water from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant is used to keep the Adelaide Parklands green during the year. A minimum of 1.3 billion litres is supplied annually through purple pipes to enable this long-term water solution.

Adelaide’s southern suburbs

Sewage collected at the Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant is treated and supplied to around 8,000 homes in the southern suburbs of Adelaide for watering, irrigation and toilet flushing.

Viginia’s market gardeners

The Virginia Pipeline Scheme (VPS) uses recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant to supply around 360 customers in the Virginia area north of Adelaide.


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