Sydney Water opens recycled water demonstration plant

Tuesday, 21 November, 2023

Sydney Water opens recycled water demonstration plant

As dam levels drop across Greater Sydney and another drought looks inevitable, Sydney Water has invested $26m in a purified recycled water (PRW) demonstration plant in Western Sydney.

Located in Quakers Hill, the plant is one option being explored to supplement Greater Sydney’s Water supply to ensure the city is less dependent on rainfall.

While the water produced at the PRW plant doesn’t contribute to Sydney’s drinking water supply, it will demonstrate to the community that the technology to treat recycled water to drinking water quality is available and that it’s safe and reliable. The plant will be capable of producing a high-quality water supply of 0.5 ML/day, or between 5 and 6 L per second.

Roch Cheroux, Sydney Water Managing Director, said: “Our climate and city are changing, and as we experience more severe and intense weather events, we need to adapt by looking beyond rainfall to futureproof Greater Sydney’s water supply.”

Sydney Water’s Long-Term Capital and Operational Plan (LTCOP) has identified critical infrastructure required to accommodate the population boom, a changing climate, upgrades to aging infrastructure and the rising cost of living. Over the next 10 years, Sydney Water will invest more than $30bn as part of the LTCOP to upgrade existing networks and deliver new infrastructure.

Purified recycled water is water recycled from industry and homes (including kitchens, showers and toilets) that has been purified to meet the strict Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling to supplement raw sources (such as rain, rivers and dams). More than 35 cities worldwide use PRW as a component of their drinking water supply. These cities include Singapore, Orange County (USA), San Diego (USA) and Perth (Western Australia).

Image credit: Wittke

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