Government departments Industry associations Multimedia Frequently Asked Questions What is recycled water? Is the person using recycled water safe? Is recycled water safe for use around the home? Is recycled water safe for use in agriculture? How safe is recycled water? What are the potential risks associated with recycled water? What are the common units when talking about recycled water? How do I know where recycled water is used? How do we manage any risk associated with using recycled water? How does the reclamation or treatment process work for recycling water? Can recycled water be used for agriculture and amenity horticulture? How much water is recycled in Australia? What are Australia’s water resources? What can recycled water be used for? How is recycled water defined? Why recycle our water? Why do we recycle water and allocate it to the environment? Glossary
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What is recycled water?

Water can be recycled from:

  • rainwater (rain caught from the roof or other direct methods of rain capture), 
  • stormwater (rainwater that has reached the ground or other hard surfaces on the ground like roads, ovals, paddocks)
  • greywater (from the bath, shower, basin and maybe the kitchen)
  • treated effluent (from a sewage treatment plant)

These are all alternative water supplies that, when treated as required, are suitable for a range of purposes (fit for purpose). This can include irrigating grazing land and crops, in horticulture, industrial processing, in residential dual pipe schemes, and to keep our public and recreational spaces green.

Recycled water is a valuable resource. It contributes to conservation of drinking quality water, improves the reliability of our water supplies, frees up water for the environment or growth, and reduces the amount of treated effluent discharged into our bays and oceans.

Water recycling is a generic term for water reclamation and reuse, where the resulting water is referred to as recycled water. This term will be used throughout this website, but you might also find a number of other terms used in the water industry to describe recycled water or the process to make it. These include:

  • Water reclamation 
  • Water recycling 
  • Water reuse 
  • Wastewater 
  • Sewage effluent 
  • Reclaimed water 
  • Grey water

For more detailed defintions see glossary of terms.