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, completed in 2009, delivers up to 18 gigalitres of water to market gardeners in Virginia. The water is used to irrigate fruit and vegetable crops. It's even used to grow bamboo for Adelaide Zoo's pandas, Wang Wang and Funi.

For more information, download our Residential Recycled Water Household Guide


Tell us what you think

We're always looking for ways to improve our website, and we would appreciate your feedback on this page.

Please note we cannot respond to any comment made here. If you need a response, please contact us.

Was this page useful?
How can we make it better?

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Multiple streets
  • Goolwa
  • 19/10/2017
  • Water Quality
  • SA Water customers in Goolwa and surrounding areas, including Goolwa Beach, Goolwa South, Goolwa North and Hindmarsh Island may currently be experiencing discoloured or milky water coming out of their taps.

    This water remains safe to drink.

    During recent planned maintenance in the area, some existing sediment in the local water supply network has been stirred up, resulting in the discoloured water.

    We are working hard to resolve the issue, and we are flushing out the discoloured water. Given the size of the water network in the area, this may take some time. At this stage, we are hoping water supply will return to normal by Friday afternoon.

    We will continue to monitor the situation, and provide updates on our website and Facebook page.

    For further information or any questions, please contact us on 1300 SA WATER.

  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Thomas St
  • Croydon
  • 23/10/2017
  • Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time (water off): 23/10/2017 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time (water back on): 23/10/2017 03:00 PM

    We’re committed to improving your services and are undertaking maintenance work in Croydon. Water supply in the surrounding area may be impacted during the above times. Traffic restrictions may also apply.


  • See all scheduled works