Customers

Recycled Water

What is recycled water?

Recycled water is wastewater that has been treated to remove solids and pathogens. Depending upon the level of treatment, recycled water can be safely used for a variety of non domestic purposes including irrigation of farm land, golf courses, vineyards, horticulture and nurseries. Recycled water may also be suitable for some industrial applications (e.g. boiler/cooling water) however TasWater has no such customers.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) requires, as a mandatory component of all sewage treatment plant improvement plans, an assessment of opportunities to divert treated effluent for beneficial purposes including options for the irrigation of agricultural, forestry or public land. The EPA position is consistent with the Tasmanian Waste and Resource Management Strategy 2009 hierarchy.

This strategy lists the most acceptable to least acceptable outcomes as:

Strategy Most Acceptable
Avoidance  Down Arrow
Reduction
Reuse
Recycling
Recovery of Energy
Treatment
Disposal

Least Acceptable

 

The EPA will only approve an alternative process with a discharge to an inland waterway or the marine environment (disposal) when all reasonable reuse options have been ruled out for practical, economic or environmental reasons.

TasWater is responsible for 16 recycled water schemes in the south and 14 in the north.  They range from simple lagoon systems to the largest; the Clarence Recycled Water Scheme.

What are the environmental benefits of recycled water?

Use of recycled water offers a range of environmental benefits. These include:

  • reduced discharge of nutrient rich treated waste water to water ways
  • reduced demand on less sustainable water sources for irrigation
  • beneficial recycling of nutrients in wastewater (in particular Nitrogen and Phosphorous) which reduces fertiliser demand

What is the process for implementing a new recycled water scheme?

To implement a new recycled water scheme in Tasmania a Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) is prepared to ensure that recycled water use is sustainable and will not impose negative outcomes on either the environment or public health. For a scheme to progress the DPEMP must be approved by the EPA.

Recycled water programs are typically accompanied by a range of environmental monitoring programs (documented within the DPEMP). These include monitoring of soil and ground water to ensure that there is no negative impact of recycled water use over time. TasWater is required to present data from these programs to the EPA annually.

What are the permitted uses for recycled water?

Recycled water has various limitations on how and where it may be used. There are also some restrictions on land use for certain time periods after recycled water has been applied. If you are considering buying land that has a recycled water connection, it is important that you contact TasWater for information regarding the permitted use of recycled water on that property and implications with regard to land use.

Please click  here to learn more about the Environmental Guidelines for the Use of Recycled Water in Tasmania in Tasmania December 2002.

Please click here  to learn more about using recycled water safely.

Please click here  to learn more about recycled water usage for livestock.

Interested in a recycled water connection?

If you are interested in seeking a recycled water connection, or purchasing property with an existing connection, please contact TasWater on 13 6992 or email enquiries@taswater.com.au in order to obtain further information.  Please note that many of our recycled water schemes are fully allocated and you may not be able to receive a service.

Recycled water customers are required to enter into a formal Recycled Water Agreement with TasWater.  The Agreement details legal arrangements such as infrastructure ownership and recycled water pricing.  Each recycled water property must also have a site specific Irrigation and Environmental Management Plan detailing recycled water management, how the recycled water will be used in a manner that is safe and sustainable.  TasWater conducts regular property reviews to ensure this is happening.  Please call Taswater if you would like more information about the Irrigation and Environmental Management Plans.

Recycled water pricing

Pricing of recycled water varies between each scheme.  TasWater has implemented a new pricing strategy for 2015-18. Future pricing strategies will be reflective of the principles of least cost effluent disposal.