Australia: Recycled stormwater to secure water supply

A NEW scheme to save water could help prevent harbour pollution as well as provide an ongoing water supply for Sydney, experts say.

storm water recyclingThe plans, being discussed at a national water conference, would involve harvesting and recycling stormwater for non-drinking purposes.

Every year 3500 tonnes of sediment, pollution and nutrients are dumped into Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay through stormwater run-off.

That would be reduced if the water was diverted and reused, the City of Sydney says.

“Drinking quality water is currently used for everything, including toilet flushing, but it doesn’t need to be,” said Dr Bhakti Devi, water strategy manager at the City of Sydney, told AAP on Wednesday.

“A lot of money goes into treating it. We’ve identified ways to produce non-drinking quality water that’s fit for purpose. It’s a very sensible way to do it.”

The city’s decentralised water master plan will be presented at the Australian Water Association Conference in Newcastle on Thursday.

Under the plan, safety measures would be in place to make sure that drinking water and non-drinking water supplies to people’s homes were not mixed up, Dr Devi added.

Stormwater harvesting systems are already in place in four Sydney parks and the City of Sydney wants more introduced.

“With so much rain in recent years people don’t think about drought, but the lessons are clear that we need a flexible, adaptable and resilient water system that can cope with climate variability,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

Using alternative water sources would also place less reliance on dam levels at Warragamba, she added.

Source: Perth Now

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