The City of Sydney has launched Australia’s largest stormwater recycling scheme in the city’s Green Square.
As part of the $8 million scheme, 320 million litres of polluted stormwater will be diverted from waterways to be treated, which will be treated and piped directly for used in residential, commercial and community buildings.
Up to 900,000 litres of treated stormwater will be provided daily for use in washing machines, to flush toilets for use in parks and gardens.
The 278 hectare Green Square urban renewal area includes $540 million of infrastructure and will accommodate people in 30,500 new homes while creating around 21,000 permanent jobs.
A two kilometre drain that runs underground from Epsom Road in Zetland to Alexandrea Canal will harvest storm water and pump it into a treatment plant.
The water will then be treated with a combination of ‘ultrafiltration’ techniques to remove solids and pathogens. A reverse osmosis procedure reduces the salt concentration before being sent to two 500,000 litre underground storage tanks.
Recycled water will then be distributed around the town centre through a network of pipes, with existing residential areas and city owned buildings already connected to the scheme.
Green Square is positioned above a major storm water flow path and the scheme will be operated by the private water utility, Green Square Water.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the area’s consumption of daily drinking water will be reduced by half.
“Not only will we be saving water, but reducing costs as well – it’s expected water bills will be cut for residents and businesses by 10 cents a kilolitre,” Cr Moore said.
“Growing populations and high density living calls for an increased demand for water, not only to drink but to flush toilets, wash clothes, water gardens and irrigate parks.
“By treating polluted water so it can be used again, we are able to conserve our previous water supplies and prevent polluted water from flowing into our waterways,” she said.