Wastewater treatment plants

Wastewater treatment plants

Each year we manage and treat millions of litres of wastewater. Our three major wastewater treatment plants at Bolivar, Glenelg and Christies Beach process more than 250 megalitres of sewage every day - that's about five full baths every second.

Your sewage goes through a number of stages as part of the treatment process before it is ready for reuse as biogas, biosolids and recycled water, or for release back into the environment.

Reuse from wastewater treatment plants

It's not just water recycled at our treatment plants. We also reuse gases and the biosolids that come out of the treatment process.


The bacteria used in some of our treatment processes create gases, including methane, called biogas. We capture enough biogas to create 15 gigawatts per hour of power per year. That's about half of all of the energy needs for all three wastewater treatment plants in metropolitan Adelaide.

Recycled water

Recycled water, treated to an appropriate standard, is used for irrigating farmland, parks and outdoor sports grounds. Some suburbs also have recycled water for use on gardens, in toilets and for washing cars. Our recycled water is also used to grow the bamboo that feeds Adelaide Zoo's pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni.


Organic material from the wastewater process is collected and treated to make them safe for South Australian farmers, who have been using them as a compost since the 1960s. We call these materials biosolids and farmers use them to improve their soils and crops. Demand for biosolids produced by our Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant currently exceeds our annual output of 35,000 tonnes.

Farmers who want to use biosolids must produce either dry land crops like cereals, or irrigated permanent crops like citrus or vines, while commercial landscapers working on significant projects may also be able to use biosolids.

You can read more about biosolids at the Australian & New Zealand Biosolids Partnership.

Our biosolids are supplied free of charge. The only cost to users is that of transporting the solids from Bolivar.

If you would like to use South Australian-produced biosolids for your farm or landscaping projects, please contact us.