Wastewater recycling rates in the Hunter region are higher than they have been in two decades, with a total of 6454 million litres of water recycled in 2017–18 significantly reducing demand on drinking water supplies.
Hunter Water has a range of recycled water schemes in place, which supply high-quality treated wastewater to large commercial customers for industrial use, as well as local golf clubs and farmers for irrigation.
Hunter Water’s Sustainable Wastewater Program Director, David Derkenne, said there are a number of benefits of recycled water.
“One of the main advantages of recycled water is that it’s largely unaffected by weather, meaning it’s a reliable water source that can be accessed all year round, even during dry conditions.
“Hunter Water is proud to have recycled more than ten per cent of wastewater generated last year. Industrial reuse, through initiatives like the Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme, was the biggest contributor, with 3379 million litres reused.
“We have also increased recycling at a number of our Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) through the potable water substitution program. This will be expanded to include Burwood, Belmont and Boulder Bay WWTW, and is estimated to save an additional 140 million litres of drinking water each year.
“Hunter Water has a long history of using recycled water. We’re continually looking for more sustainable and innovative ways to do that, because every litre reused is a litre of drinking water saved,” Mr Derkenne said.
In a further boost to the region’s drinking water supplies, Hunter Water will soon begin supplying recycled water to customers in Chisholm and Gillieston Heights for a range of non-potable uses including flushing toilets, watering gardens and washing clothes.