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Recycled Water

'Recycled Water' produced following the treatment of sewage at Wastewater (or Sewage) Treatment Plants is a valuable resource which needs to be utilised in a sustainable manner. This is because recycled water can be an important component for delivering resilient water supply system and hence a viable tool for 'water security' to drought and climate change. This is particularly significant for the Southern Downs region as the region experiences frequent and sometimes severe droughts; where occasional water supply reduction measures across the region need to be introduced. However, this seeks to encourage the beneficial and sustainable use of the produced recycled water and provide guidance for planning, design, approval, operation and monitoring of recycled water supplies in regards to safeguarding the public health and the environment.

The use of recycled water in the region can deliver different benefits, which include - 

  • Less treated effluent discharged to receiving surface waterways;
  • Compliance with effluent discharge license conditions (as outlined by Environmental Authority Permit);
  • Reduced ecological impacts of nutrients or other pollutants due to reduced discharge of treated effluents;
  • Reduced potable water demand and associated cost savings;
  • Cost-effective fit for purpose alternative to potable water;
  • Promote environmental sustainability (as outlined in 'SDRC Corporate Plan')

SDRC therefore supports and encourages the use of recycled water, for non-potable purposes only, which has been treated to a level that is fit for its intended use. Recycled water is treated and monitored at the wastewater treatment plants in accordance with the Queensland and National legislations or guidelines.

SDRC is a registered recycled water service provider under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008. Refer QLD Government Open Data Portal to access the list of registered recycled water schemes. Currently, SDRC provides a 'Class A Recycled Water' for end use in the region (Warwick and Stanthorpe) in accordance with all appropriate State and National regulatory provisions and guidelines for recycled water and also work in partnership with relevant State's regulatory agencies. 

SDRC Recycled Water Schemes

SDRC currently operates recycled water schemes at Warwick and Stanthorpe. The infrastructure includes dedicated pipelines to service non-residential users. There is currently no infrastructure in place to service residential areas, also known as ‘dual reticulation’ or ‘third pipe’. 

The recycled water scheme in Warwick provides Class A water to both authorised users (i.e., via a direct connection with water meter to the recycled water main) and tanker fill location (for filling tanker trucks and delivery to location). Likewise, the recycled water scheme in Stanthorpe also provides Class A water to the authorised users.

Council reviews these systems for suitability and considers expansion or upgrading the system on a periodic or as needed basis. For example, Council is currently considering upgrading its’ sewerage treatment plants to provide Class A+ recycled water as opposed to Class A. However, planning is still in conceptual phase and this may or may not eventuate in forthcoming days. 

The following is a summary of Council’s recycled water schemes.

Scheme#

Class available – Authorised customers (direct connection to Recycled Water main)

Class available – tanker fill station (standpipe to be supplied by Council)

Warwick

Class A

Class A

Stanthorpe

Class A

n/a

#If the treatment plant cannot produce Class A recycled water as a minimum standard, then supply to the recycled water distribution network will be terminated until the issue has been rectified.

Locations of these recycled water supply pipelines can be viewed on Council’s online mapping by clicking the following link and selecting the ‘underground infrastructure’ module:

https://maps.sdrc.qld.gov.au/IntraMaps910/?project=SDRC%20Maps

The recycled water supplied by SDRC is subject to the regular analytical testing regime for assessing the presence of both microbiological including organic and inorganic contaminants to maintain the quality or even exceed the quality standards outlined in the Public Health Regulation (2005) for the advertised class of recycled water supplied by each schemes in the Warwick and Stanthorpe regions.

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