What is recycled water?

Recycled water is wastewater that has been purified so it can be used again for new purposes.

We treat wastewater from our sewage treatment plants to produce high quality recycled water that is suitable for a range of non-drinking purposes.

Why use recycled water?

​In an uncertain climate, we must be smart about how we use our finite supplies of drinking water. Recycled water is a good alternative to use in situations such as:

  • agriculture irrigation
  • watering public parks and gardens
  • toilet flushing, car washing, garden watering and other household uses

Recycled water is just one of the alternative water supplies available to us. Grey water, stormwater harvesting and sewer mining are also helping to preserve our drinking water supplies for drinking. You can read more about them on the following page:

Melbourne Water's role

We are a wholesale producer and supplier of recycled water.

Using world-class technologies tailored to our infrastructure and wastewater quality, we produce recycled water from our two sewage treatment plants, the Western Treatment Plant at Werribee and the Eastern Treatment Plant at Bangholme. We then sell recycled water to retail water companies, who distribute it directly to individual users.

We are also leaders in recycled water technology, and support safe and efficient reuse of water. Our aim is to make sure our water supply system is resilient to periods of low rainfall in the future. We are working closely with water retailers and industry stakeholders to investigate and make better use of all available sources of water, and integrated solutions to managing water. Learn more about this holistic approach:

Supply and demand

We have the capacity to produce the largest amount of Class A recycled water of any organisation in Australia. In Victoria, Class A is the highest class of recycled water, which allows it to be used for a range of non-drinking purposes.

However, demand for recycled water is very dependent on climate. During the drought there was much greater use of recycled water compared to wetter periods.

The largest consumers of recycled water are farmers and irrigators, so demand is seasonal and heavily dependent on rainfall. However, as new housing estates gain access to dedicated pipes supplying recycled water, demand will become more consistent.

We will continue working with the water retailers and the Victorian Government to investigate new uses for recycled water and long-term solutions to secure our water supplies. 

Statistics on the amount of water we recycle can be found in our Annual Report:

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