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Ballina turns to recycled water

Following months of low rainfall, Ballina Shire Council has launched its drought-proof water service, with over 900 properties in the Ballina region turned onto recycled water.

Water and Wastewater Manager Bridget Walker told the Northern Star the council's recycled water service will be crucial to meeting water demand now and in future.

"Recycled water is safe and crystal clear, cheaper to use and, as our shire continues to grow, key to meeting future water demands,” she said.

"Traditionally, water is used only once, treated and discharged into local waterways. But with recycled water the valuable resource can be reused multiple times, which reduces demands on our precious drinking water.”

Walker said that although the recycled water cannot be used for drinking, there are plenty of other applications that will help lower the region's reliance on potable water supplies.

"Recycled water can be used for irrigating gardens, washing pets, flushing toilets and the cold washing machine tap, but cannot be used for drinking, cooking or bathing,” she said.

"In the last financial year, residents, businesses and farmers used 416ML of recycled water – that's the equivalent of 166 Olympic swimming pools.”

Further to saving potable water, the recycled water service is also expected to maintain sustainable water consumption rates as the region grows.

"The great thing is this saving will continue to grow each year as new homes are built, and in the coming years recycled water will ultimately supply some 7200 homes across the shire,” she said.

"As well as saving drinking water, the use of recycled water decreases the amount of water discharged to the marine environment.”

Council’s Lennox Head Wastewater Treatment Facility welcomes the community to take a tour of the plant as a part of National Water Week.

National Water Week makes a splash every third week of October. To find resources, articles and activities for the week click here.

To learn more about the challenges of implementing potable water reuse, register for our upcoming NSW Seminar "Socialising Potable Water Reuse".