Australian Cities Adopt Wastewater Reuse
Potable reuse of wastewater has gone by many different names, some of them unflattering, like “toilet to tap.” Despite the clear benefits of water reuse, this so-called “ick factor” has slowed the adoption of technology that can transform wastewater into drinking water.
In Sydney, treated effluent from sewage systems serving 116,000 residents flows into a catchment upstream from the enormous Warragamba Dam, which supplies water for the city. Moreover, the North Richmond Water Filtration Plant near Sydney draws water from the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, which is partially fed by treatment plants upstream. With population growth, more treated wastewater is discharged every year.
Because Sydney relies on its desalination infrastructure to provide water in dry years, it doesn’t rely as heavily on water reuse as Perth does. But such a strategy comes with a high price tag. With dams currently full, the large Sydney Desalination Plant has been idle, but in 2017, private operators of the publicly owned plant charged Sydney AU$194 million for maintaining it on standby.
Fluence Corporation recently published an article regarding Sydney's wastewater reuse practices. Read it in full in the link below.