Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Why do we need to use recycled water?
At the moment Australians use drinking water for almost all purposes.
We flush, wash and water away up to 70 per cent of the drinking water we use daily. Only 10 per cent is actually used for drinking and another 20 to 40 per cent for bathing and cooking.
This means we can dramatically reduce the amount of drinking water we use by harnessing millions of litres of disused wastewater currently pumped out to sea.
Water is not just important for drinking and washing, insufficient water means we cannot grow adequate food supplies or maintain industry.
Important points about recycled water:
- Recycled water provides real flexibility and benefits in our drought prone climate by replacing and thereby conserving potable water supplies.
- Increased water recycling is a key focus of the Metropolitan Water Plan and the NSW Government continues to investigate new, innovative and cost effective ways to treat and use recycled water.
- Water recycling is supported by the NSW Government to provide long-term solutions to secure our water supplies.
When you consider Sydney produces almost enough wastewater to fill Sydney Harbour every year, we have a major untapped resource at our finger tips:
- By 2015, the NSW Government aims to recycle about 70 billion litres of water a year making up 12 per cent of Sydney’s current water needs.
- In 2010-11, nearly 50 billion litres of recycled water was used in Sydney and the Illawarra, water that would otherwise have been sourced from drinking water supplies.
- Singapore, California, Florida, United Arab Emirates and Israel use recycled water as a key part of improving the security of their future water supplies.
Why are pipes for the recycled water system purple?
To ensure recycled water is not confused with drinking water it is delivered through a completely separate piping system with a strong and noticeable colour - purple.
Why is recycled water available in new developments but not existing ones?
Laying recycled water mains in conjunction with drinking water mains is a relatively simple and cost effective method of introducing recycled water.
It can be more challenging to bring recycled water into existing areas. In many cases excavations may need to take place under roads, nature strips and private property. Home owners may also be required to bear the cost of installing recycled water plumbing and fixtures within their properties. When old pipeworks need to be relaid there is often an opportunity to introduce recycled water.
What can I use recycled water for?
Recycled water can be used for:
- toilet flushing
- cold water supplies to washing machines
- irrigation of gardens and lawns
- water fountains or features
- air cooling
- car washing
What can't I use recycled water for?
Recycled water can’t be used for:
- human or animal drinking
- bathing and showering
- household cleaning
- cooking or other kitchen purposes
- swimming pools and spas
- evaporative coolers
- children’s water toys
- bidet sprays
- recreation involving water
What testing takes place to determine the quality of the recycled water?
Green Square Water meets strict Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling set out by Federal and State Governments.
Green Square recycled water undergoes multiple purification processes. Water is filtered, chemically treated and disinfected with ultrafiltration, Reverse Osmosis (RO) and chlorine.
Water quality testing and monitoring take place at every stage of the purification process. Samples are taken in the tanks after water is treated and at customers’ taps.