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Victorian recycled water under national spotlight

On 26 February 2021, Infrastructure Australia released a new Infrastructure Priority list for 2021. This list features a Victorian opportunity to invest in recycled water infrastructure in South East of Melbourne.

South East Melbourne recycled water supply infrastructure upgrades South East Melbourne recycled water supply infrastructure upgrades

Melbourne Water’s Eastern treatment plant already produces 130 billion liters of recycled water each year. Some of this recycle water (approximately 5%) is reused safety for irrigation purposes. Should this initiative move off the priority list and into the construction phase, it is expected to increase the amount of recycled water that is being currently reused.

Other retail water authorities such as South East Water have also been actively leading the change in building recycled water supply infrastructure for non-drinking residential use such as gardening and toilet flushing.

Reusing recycle water instead of potable water can reduce the demand for potable water and contribute to water supply security in this fast-growing area of Melbourne.

While reusing recycled water for agricultural and non-drinking residential purposes are not new in Victoria, there are efforts by the Victorian State government to engage with the broader community to examine the potential use of recycle water for drinking.

This is in part in response to Victoria’s Draft 30 year Infrastructure Strategy released in December 2020 which made a recommendation to consider all water supply sources including identifying and addressing barriers to recycled drinking water. There is currently an ongoing engagement campaign in which all members of the Victorian Australian Water Association Branch are encouraged to participate. You can share your thoughts about using recycled water for drinking here.