Leading the way in recycled water

In a believed first for regional New South Wales, Ballina Shire will supply recycled water to households.

The innovative recycled water service is set to commence in the Shire in July, starting with almost 80 new houses at Lennox Head.
The properties will begin receiving both recycled water and drinking water through a dual reticulated water system, in what Ballina Shire Council believes is a first for regional NSW.

The Shire’s Water and Wastewater Manager, Tim Mackney, said Council was proud to be at the forefront of the country’s recycled water technology.

“We are in the extraordinary position of saying that Ballina Shire Council will soon have the biggest recycled water service in regional NSW,” Mr Mackney said.

“In the first phase of the program, 77 houses in Lennox Head are set to benefit from the delivery of dual recycled and drinking water services in July.

“From there, we will roll-out the program to more than 600 new households in Ballina, East Ballina, and Cumbalum. They will have recycled water on tap for uses such as washing clothes, flushing toilets and watering the garden.

“When this service starts we will be at the forefront of the nation’s recycled water sector.”

Mr Mackney said the Shire’s water services were adapting to the growth in demand and the need to ensure a sustainable water supply for future generations.

“The delivery of recycled water for local household uses is going to really change the way we think about water,” he said.

“We are not just going to think about using water for household purposes but recycling it to ensure sustainable water supplies for future generations.

“What this really means is that more water will be preserved for essential uses such as drinking, cooking and bathing.”

Mr Mackney thanked everyone who had made the project possible, with selected agricultural properties, sports fields and commercial premises in the Shire already trialling the dual reticulation system.

“It is widely acknowledged by the community that recycled water is safe, reliable and economical,” he said.

“The significance of our recycled water service is well-known and since we began planning this service more than a decade ago, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and support from the community.”

Ballina Shire Council has invested $85 million in the Ballina-Lennox Head Recycled Water Masterplan and plans are underway to offer the recycled water service to more households, businesses, sporting fields, parks and public lands across the Shire.

Purple pipelines and taps have already been installed at households set to receive recycled water; affected householders will be contacted prior to July.

In the coming months Council will inform residents and businesses about the many ways they can use recycled water. The water has been treated to very high standards and is safe to use around the home, however it is not suitable for drinking.