Recycled water

Highly treated wastewater can be recycled for a range of non-drinking uses, helping save our precious drinking water supplies in an uncertain climate. Learn more.

Key facts

  • The highest grade of recycled water in Victoria is Class A, which can be used for non-drinking purposes
  • Melbourne Water is able to produce the largest amount of Class A recycled water in Australia

Uses for recycled water

In Victoria, recycled water can be used for:

  • fire fighting
  • irrigating crops — including ones that can be eaten raw, like lettuce
  • watering parks, gardens and sports grounds
  • flushing toilets
  • washing cars
  • doing the laundry

The largest users of recycled water are farmers and irrigators. The demand for recycled water therefore changes with the seasons and climate, increasing during droughts. However, this will become more consistent as more new housing estates with dual pipe systems are built in Melbourne’s growth corridors.

We are also working with the water industry to find new ways to use recycled water, such as refilling natural underground reservoirs (aquifers) that are overused or have poor quality water.

Accessing recycled water

We produce recycled water at our Eastern and Western treatment plants. This is supplied to the retail water companies, who distribute it to homes and businesses.

As a general rule, only areas near our treatment plants can access recycled water. Areas currently using it include the:

  • Werribee Tourist Precinct — including the golf club, zoo and mansion
  • Werribee Employment Precinct — a 900-hectare site for research and learning institutions
  • Eastern Irrigation Scheme, Cranbourne — supplies more than 80 customers with water for horticulture, irrigation and industrial processes
  • Cranbourne housing estates

To find out if you can access recycled water, contact your local water retailer.

Last updated:
30 October 2017