Using recycled water

Melbourne Water is a wholesale supplier of recycled water to the retail water companies, who then distribute it to customers. Our recycled water meets the requirements of EPA Victoria and Department of Health and Human Services, and is safe to use for specific non-drinking purposes.

Read more about the regulatory guidelines we follow, who to contact to access recycled water and where it’s being used.

Guidelines for producing recycled water

We produce recycled water in accordance with EPA Victoria and Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.

EPA Victoria and Department of Health and Human Services

EPA Victoria and the Department of Health regulate the quality of recycled water we produce according to guidelines based on its microbiological quality.

In Victoria, Class A is the highest class of recycled water, which allows it to be used for a range of non-drinking purposes. These include:

  • fire fighting
  • irrigating a variety of food crops including those such as lettuce, which can be consumed raw
  • watering parks, gardens and sports grounds and ovals
  • toilet flushing, laundry use, car washing and garden watering

Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling

The Eastern Treatment Plant produces water that meets the highest quality requirements of the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling, Managing Health and Environmental Risks Phase 1 2006.

While these guidelines do not specify classes of recycled water, they do require us to treat it to a standard that makes it safe for its intended use.

Under these guidelines, our recycled water can be used for fire fighting – an activity which requires the highest quality water. This also makes our recycled water suitable for all other Class A uses set by the EPA.

View the guidelines for producing recycled water:

Is recycled water safe?

We supply the retail water companies with Class A recycled water that is safe for non-drinking purposes. Our advanced technologies remove more than 99.999% of pathogens through multiple treatment steps including filtration, ozone, ultraviolet light and chlorination.

We use a quality control process at our treatment plants known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This system is widely used in the food industry to ensure food safety. It has multiple checkpoints throughout the treatment process, and recycled water supply from the treatment plant will cease immediately if any of them are breached.

Accessing recycled water

We are a wholesale recycled water supplier to the water retailers, who are responsible for distributing it to individual homes and businesses.

Generally, recycled water is only available in areas near our treatment plants, in Werribee in the west and Bangholme in the south-east.

Contact your water retailer to learn about accessing recycled water in your area:

More residential third pipe schemes are being built in the growth corridors of Melbourne which will increase the use of Class A recycled water. We will continue to work closely with water retailers and industry stakeholders to identify new ways of using recycled water.

Recycled water in use

Werribee Tourist Precinct

The precinct includes customers such as Werribee Park Golf Club, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Werribee Park and Mansion.

Werribee Employment Precinct

A 900-hectare site that is home to a number of high profile research and learning institutions. Recycled water has been supplied here since June 2007.

Eastern Irrigation Scheme

More than 80 customers access recycled water through one of the recycled water suppliers, TopAq, for horticulture, open space irrigation and industrial processes.

Residential dual pipe supply

Several housing estates around Cranbourne use a dual pipe system to access recycled water for watering gardens, flushing toilets and watering streetscapes and open spaces.​

Did you know?

HACCP – the quality control system we use to make sure our recycled water is safe – was developed by NASA and is used worldwide for food safety.

 


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