Recycled water

Water recycled from sewage is a valuable resource with a range of uses across the commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential sectors.

Recycled water being used at the Torquay Sands golf course.

What is recycled water?

Recycled water is wastewater (sewage) treated and disinfected to a safe standard for beneficial reuse.

All of our water reclamation plants produce recycled water.

We do not refer to stormwater or domestic greywater as recycled water.


Recycled water is classified into 4 classes, depending on its treatment level and reuse opportunities.

  • Class D recycled water is the lowest grade, and can be used to irrigate non-food crops such as turf, timber or flower lots. We do not produce Class D recycled water.
  • Class C recycled water is suitable for a range of uses, including irrigating food crops, sporting facilities, sporting grounds, golf courses and more. All of our water reclamation plants currently produce Class C recycled water or better.
  • Class B recycled water may also be used for livestock drinking, cattle grazing and wash-down water. The Anglesea Water Reclamation Plant currently produces Class B recycled water.
  • Class A recycled water is fit for human contact, but not suitable for drinking, bathing or swimming. The Black Rock Recycled Water Plant (currently being commissioned) and the Northern Water Plant will produce Class A recycled water.

The EPA regulates recycled water production and use. In addition, the Department of Health must also endorse Class A recycled water use.



Recycled water is a key element in securing our future water supply.

Increased use of recycled water reduces our reliance on drinking water.

Recycled water is a renewable resource, as it is continually replenished through our sewerage system

Recycled water:

  • is not subject to water restrictions
  • is cheaper to buy than drinking water
  • is always in supply, regardless of climate or population factors
  • reduces the volumes discharged at ocean outfalls
  • reduces the demand on other water sources.



Recycled water in our region

Our water reclamation plants currently produce recycled water by a combination of mechanical and biological processes.

Recycled water is made available to local customers by a network of pipes, or can be trucked in certified tankers.

Our reclamation plants produce around three billion litres of recycled water a year.

In our region, recycled water is currently used for a range of purposes, including:

  • irrigating golf courses, sporting grounds and public open spaces
  • irrigating vineyards, hydroponic tomatoes, potatoes and other crops
  • irrigating turf and flower farms
  • dust suppression for road works and major construction works.



Recycled water projects

A number of current and upcoming projects will see higher quality recycled water produced, and a greater range of potential uses in the near future.


Black Rock Recycled Water Plant

A new recycled water facility will provide high quality recycled water for water sensitive urban development, industry, agriculture, and community recreational facilities.

The Black Rock Recycled Water Plant will be located adjacent to the existing water reclamation facility in Connewarre, part of the Black Rock Environmental Precinct.

The new plant will supply Class A and high quality Class C recycled water for a wider range of customers, including residential users in Armstrong Creek and Torquay North.

  More on the Black Rock Recycled Water Plant


Armstrong Creek and Torquay North

In addition to drinking water and sewerage connections, homes, businesses, sporting grounds and public facilities in the new Armstrong Creek and Torquay North developments will have access to recycled water via a dedicated “purple pipe” from the new Black Rock facility.

Currently, only a few business customers in our region have access to recycled water. In the near future, residents of Armstrong Creek and Torquay North will be able to use high quality Class A recycled water to wash their cars, water their gardens, flush their toilets and more.

 More on recycled water for Armstrong Creek


Northern Water Plant

A new water recycling facility in Geelong's north treats trade waste from the Shell Geelong Refinery and domestic sewage from neighbouring suburbs.

The plant produces Class A recycled water, and will save two billion litres of drinking water annually.

  More on the Northern Water Plant