How to use recycled water

How to use recycled water

Your recycled water supply has been treated to a standard that is safe for a range of household purposes. These include flushing toilets, watering gardens, and washing cars.

The recycled pipework and outlets on your property have a distinctive purple colour. This helps to easily identify them and ensure the recycled water supply does not get connected to your drinking water supply as this water is not safe for drinking. Any work on recycled water must be completed by a licensed plumber.

A brochure on using recycled water at home  will help you understand more – please contact our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SAWATER (1300 729 283) if you’d like a copy.

Where you can safely use recycled water

While you need to keep your recycled water supply clear from rainwater tanks and drinking water systems, you can safely use recycled water to:

  • water lawns and gardens including fruit trees, vegetables and flowers
  • flush toilets
  • wash cars
  • fill water features and ornamental ponds (with no fish or living aquatic creatures)
  • wash pets
  • operate evaporative coolers and air conditioners.

What your recycled water supply is not for

  • drinking
  • cooking, or food preparation tasks such as rinsing vegetables
  • personal washing including baths, showers, hand basins and bidets or brushing of teeth
  • indoor cleaning
  • use in swimming pools and spas
  • recreational activities, including children playing under sprinklers.

When it comes to using recycled water in appliances, please check with the manufacturer first. Recycled water has a higher level of nutrients and salinity than drinking water. Consult your local nursery or garden supplier for expert advice on using recycled water in your garden. You will also need to complete a 30-minute safety audit once every five years.

Where we supply recycled water in metropolitan Adelaide

  • Adelaide's parklands. More than 1.3 billion litres of recycled water from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant is used to keep the Adelaide parklands green during the year. Sustainable water is also provided for toilet flushing to residents in Bowden.
  • Adelaide’s southern suburbs. Sewage collected at the Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant is treated and supplied to homes in Seaford Meadows and Seaford Heights for watering, irrigation and toilet flushing.
  • Mawson Lakes. Recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant supplies homes in Mawson Lakes for watering, irrigation and toilet flushing.
  • Virginia’s market gardeners . The Virginia Pipeline Scheme uses recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant to supply growers in the Virginia area, north of Adelaide.
  • The northern Adelaide plains. The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) provides 12 gigalitres of quality water to the foodbowl of the northern Adelaide plains, one of the largest vegetable covered cropping regions in Australia. NAIS helps to irrigate more than 300 hectares of high-technology horticulture, with further developments to double that commitment.

Recycled water in regional South Australia

We supply recycled water to more than 30 schemes across South Australia. In a number of regions, we are proud to help return 100 per cent of the community’s treated wastewater back to them as recycled water, reducing the need to use drinking water for irrigation.

Recycled water plays an important role in regional areas such as:

  • Murray Bridge. Our wastewater treatment plant returns 100 per cent of treated effluent back to the community of the Murray Mallee, irrigating such things as local farms and golf courses.
  • Whyalla. This special plant built for recycling supplies water for local municipal irrigation of parks and public spaces.
  • Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu Peninsula. Our partnership with a private provider supplies farmers and horticulturalists in Victor Harbor. Our stored and extracted recycled water supplies vineyards in the world-famous McLaren Vale region, provides the council at Normanville with municipal irrigation and returns 100 per cent of recycled water back to communities like Myponga.
  • Adelaide Hills. Apple orchards and wineries receive recycled water – a valuable resource for their business.
  • Far north and north-west South Australia. Remote communities at Amata, Yalata, Point Pierce and Koonibba receive recycled water, while all of Leigh Creek’s wastewater is recycled.

If you would like to talk to our team about using recycled water on your property, please call us on 1300 SAWATER (1300 729 283).

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Polkinghorns Rd
  • Arthurton
  • 18/06/2020
  • Water Supply On
  • 18/06/2020 03:05 PM - We are attending to an incident in Arthurton with no interruption to the water supply. The safety of our crews and customers comes first, and we always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as quickly as we can. Reference Number WO: 07505663.
  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • George St
  • Green Fields
  • 30/10/2020
  • Temporary Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time and water supply off: 01/11/2020 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time and water supply back on: 01/11/2020 06:00 PM

    We’re improving your services and undertaking maintenance work in Green Fields. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. Temporary traffic management may remain in place until reinstatement of the impacted road is complete. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as safely and quickly as we can.


  • See all scheduled works