Recycling and reuse network
Recycling and reuse network
You consistently tell us that you value recycling and reusing water and want us to do more. As the technology, experience and knowledge grows, we’re finding smarter ways of using water most effectively.
We are Australia’s second largest recycler of water, reusing one in every three litres of treated wastewater in irrigating wine and horticulture regions and city parklands.
Twenty of our wastewater treatment plants support reuse. For example, our Christies Beach plant supplies six gigalitres of recycled water annually to the privately-owned Willunga Basin Water Company and supports viticulture in the McLaren Vale wine region after it began operations more than twenty years ago.
NAIS – the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme
The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) is feeding the important agricultural food bowl north of Adelaide. Funded both federally and at a state level, NAIS is our state’s most ambitious water recycling scheme, building on our long history of treating wastewater for food production.
NAIS has unlocked 12 gigalitres of quality water to be used in agricultural food production, supporting more than 300 hectares of high-technology horticulture, and a further 2,700 hectares of advanced agri-food production. This water will sustain:
- Fruit and nut orchards
- Table and wine grapes
- High-value broad-acre cropping
- Other intensive animal husbandry.
That 12 gigalitres should double in the next three to five years, as more producers come on board with further stages supporting the wine industries in the Barossa and Eden Valleys. The full expansion would create 6000 jobs, attract $2 billion in private investment and add more than $1 billion annually to the state’s economy.
The Virginia Pipeline Scheme
The Virginia Pipeline Scheme was established in 1997 to provide a reliable, climate-independent source of water for the horticulture industry on the northern Adelaide plains.
Around 20 gigalitres of recycled water a year from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant reaches market gardeners and the food industry to help them supply the national market with tomatoes, cucurbits, peppers, and bunch lines.
Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant
We also apply a commitment to reusing wastewater in our metropolitan areas. Each year, the Glenelg–Adelaide pipeline returns 2.8 gigalitres of treated wastewater to the central Adelaide area, largely helping green the city’s public areas such as parks, gardens and sporting facilities. Apart from irrigating green spaces, this initiative produces large scale environmental heat reduction.
Recycled water is supplied on a separate system using purple pipes. If your property is supplied with recycled water, you will have a separate, purple water meter.
Approximately 450 megalitres supplies dual reticulation schemes (known as purple pipe schemes) in residential developments in the metropolitan suburbs of Mawson Lakes, Bowden and Seaford at a concessional price – sending important messages about water conservation. However, as residential allotments and private gardens shrink, the amount of water saved also shrinks.
If your property is supplied with recycled water, it is important you complete our 30-minute safety audit once every five years.
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