A consortium has been selected by the City of Sydney to develop a decentralised water master plan which would include Australia’s first city-wide recycled water network and significantly reduce demands on drinking water supplies.
The recycled water network would connect to apartment, commercial and institutional buildings which are responsible for 80% of the water consumption in the city. In an Australian first it would allow buildings to take recycled water from the network and to supply any excess recycled water to the network.
The sources of recycled water could include treated stormwater, treated water from kitchens and laundries and cleansed and disinfected water sourced from sewers. Its uses would include toilet flushing, laundry, air conditioning cooling towers and irrigation.
The recycled water networks will be integrated with the city’s planned low carbon zones powered by trigeneration plants, with common trenches used to house pipes for recycled water, district heating, cooling and automated waste collection.
Allan Jones, Chief Development Officer, Energy and Climate Change said ‘The type of city-wide recycled water network has not been implemented anywhere else in Australia. Therefore, the plan will also look at the business models to implement the network and any regulatory barriers that may prevent or limit the implementation of this very much needed climate change adaptation measure.’