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Recycled water resources that are available for reuse include treated wastewater, domestic ‘greywater’ from bathrooms and laundries, treated industrial wastewater, and agricultural drainage water. These uses are all perfectly suited for recycled water, as the water used is not for consumption, this saves valuable drinking water supply.

Where does the recycled water come from?

Willunga Basin Water takes treated wastewater from SA Water’s Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located 10 kilometres north of McLaren Vale. From there, the water is pumped through more than 140 kilometres of pipelines to irrigators in the McLaren Vale Wine Region.

Why use recycled water?

Recycled water supplied by Willunga Basin Water is a reliable, sustainable and renewable water resource and its use has significant environmental benefits. There are various benefits of using recycled water, including:

  • Reducing the pressure on less sustainable water resources (eg. groundwater, rivers)
  • Sourcing a secure water supply
  • Relying on a more cost-effective water supply
  • Usage increases the volume of water available for economic development
  • Assisting in reducing the environmental impacts associated with sending wastewater out to sea
  • Ensuring more efficient use of a limited resource

Can you drink recycled water?

No, you cannot drink recycled water supplied by Willunga Basin Water.

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How does the use of recycled water help the environment?

Establishing more of a reliance on recycled water means that significantly less treated wastewater is pumped out to sea, which helps to protect sea life, like seagrass and other marine biodiversity. Recycled water reduces our overall reliance on drinkable water from reservoirs and the River Murray, and it also reduces the use of local groundwater, which helps protect the valuable underground aquifers. Recycled water is a low-cost, effective, and safe alternative to needlessly using up water that is better suited elsewhere.

Is using recycled water safe?

Recycled water is completely safe for drip irrigation, dust suppression, restricted spray irrigation of ovals, reserves, landscaping and gardens, provided that the safety guidelines supplied by Willunga Basin Water are followed.

How can irrigators use recycled water?

Recycled water can be used for drip irrigation of vines, fruit trees, nut crops and flowers, dust suppression and restricted spray irrigation of ovals, reserves, landscaping and gardens. Other uses may be possible subject to relevant approvals.

Restricted spray irrigation means the sprays must be well-contained on the site and, most importantly, irrigation can only occur during times when there is reduced risk of human contact, such as overnight.

What is the difference between recycled water and groundwater?

Recycled water is water that has been sourced from wastewater treatment plants which have been run through the proper practices to be tertiary treated, filtered and disinfected for reuse, whereas groundwater is naturally occurring water, sourced from underground aquifers.

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