Recycled water

Using recycled water reduces drinking water usage by up to 40%, saving precious drinking water supplies and saving you money. Flow Systems charges at a lesser rate for recycled water than the local public water utility.

Recycled water is not subject to water restrictions, so household have access to a secure water supply all year round.

As a user of recycled water you will be helping to ensure Australia’s sustainable future.

Water is not just important for drinking and washing, insufficient water means we cannot grow adequate food supplies or maintain industry.

  • Recycling water provides real flexibility and benefits in our drought prone climate by replacing and thereby conserving potable water supplies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We use billions of litres of water a year for a range of purposes. Many of these uses, such as toilet flushing and irrigation, do not require drinking quality water, they would be suitable for lower quality waters.
  • Recycled water has been used in Australia and other parts of the world for many years. Singapore, California, Florida, United Arab Emirates and Israel use recycled water as a key part of improving the security of their future water supplies.

To ensure recycled water is not confused with drinking water it is delivered through a completely separate pipe system, with a strong and noticeable colour - purple.

Laying recycled water mains in conjunction with drinking water mains is a relatively simple and cost effective method of introducing recycled water. To bring recycled water into existing areas, roads would have to be dug up to lay recycled water mains and homeowners would have to bear the cost of installing recycled water plumbing and fixtures within their properties. This makes the process of retrofitting communities with recycled water costly and time consuming.

Recycled water can be used for:

  • toilet flushing
  • cold water supplies to washing machines
  • irrigation of gardens and lawns

Recycled water can’t be used for:

  • human or animal consumption
  • bathing and showering
  • household cleaning
  • cooking or other kitchen purposes
  • swimming pools and spas
  • evaporation coolers
  • children’s water toys
  • bidet sprays
  • recreation involving water

Recycled Water in Washing Machines 

Flow Systems mandates a recycled water washing machine tap on all new works. This means there will be two taps to supply the washing machine - hot drinking water and cold recycled water.

The Department of Health has determined there is no health risk from using recycled water to wash clothes and has approved its use in washing machines. All of our licences include clothes washing as an authorised purpose. The recycled water we produce is clean, clear and odourless. It leaves no residue in clothes or washing machines. Washing machines are typically the third highest user of water in the home. Using recycled water in washing machines can save about 20,000 litres of drinking water a year.

Flow Systems meets strict Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling set out by Federal and State Governments.

Flow recycled water undergoes multiple purification processes. Water is filtered, biologically treated, chemically treated and disinfected with Ultra Violet rays and chlorine with Water quality testing and monitoring takes place at every stage of the Recycled Water Process. Samples are taken in the tanks after water is treated and at customers' taps.

Laboratories certified to international standards carry out all testing.

Wastewater contains wasted water from kitchen sinks, bathrooms and toilets.

Flow Systems' treatment plant collects wastewater from homes through its closed loop recycled water network. The wastewater undergoes multiple purification processes converting the wastewater into purified recycled water. The by product of this process is a nutrient rich organic matter product called bio-solids. Rich in plant nutrients, bio-solids are used as soil conditioners and fertilisers in areas such as agriculture, forestry, composting and land rehabilitation.

There are many ways you can help improve the quality of bio-solids.

These include:

  • Don't wash paint, pesticides, medicines or other chemicals down the sink or toilet. Put them in the bin or take them to a chemical collection point
  • Use low phosphorus or phosphorus-free detergents and pesticides, and only use the recommended amount of detergent for your washing machine and dishwasher
  • Don't pour grease, oil or milk down the sink.

By improving the quality of waste entering the wastewater, you ultimately improve what returns to the environment after treatment.

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