Residential customers » Recycled water for residential customers

Class A recycled water for residential customers

Class A recycled water is now available to residents in Armstrong Creek (Armstrong and Warralily estates) and new developments in Torquay north (The Dunes and Zeally Sands).

New homes and community facilities in these developments have a dedicated "purple pipe" delivering high quality, Class A recycled water.

Class A recycled water is now on tap for new homes in Armstrong Creek and Torquay north.

Not what you're looking for?

The information on this page is intended for residential customers connected to Class A recycled water in new developments (currently Armstrong Creek and Torquay north).

If you are a business or commercial customer looking to connect to recycled water, refer to the business customers page. If you are a plumber connecting recycled water to homes, refer to the information for plumbers.

  Recycled water for business customers

  Recycled water: information for plumbers

  Learning centre: general information on recycled water

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is Class A recycled water?
What are the main benefits of recycled water?
What can I use Class A recycled water for?
What is Class A recycled water not suitable for?
Can I water my plants with Class A recycled water?
Do water restrictions apply to recycled water?
Who will be connected to Class A recycled water?
How is Class A recycled water supplied to my house / property?
How do I turn on my recycled water tap?
 How much does recycled water cost?
What are purple pipe, dual pipe and third pipe systems?
Will recycled water be available to existing homes?
What will recycled water cost?
Is recycled water safe to drink? What happens if I drink it?
Do I need to check my plumbing for cross-connections?
Do I need a rainwater tank?
How is Class A recycled water regulated?
I am a plumber. What do I need to know about connecting recycled water?

 

What is Class A recycled water?

Recycled water is a safe, high quality, renewable resource.

Class A recycled water is the highest quality available, and is the only recycled water that will we supply for residential use.

 

What are the main benefits of recycled water?

Recycled water is always in supply, regardless of climate or population factors.

It is not subject to water restrictions, and is cheaper that drinking (potable) water.

 

What can I use Class A recycled water for?

Based on EPA Victoria guidelines, Class A recycled water is suitable for:

  • watering your gardens, vegetables and lawns 
  • flushing your toilets
  • washing your car, outdoor furniture and hard surfaces (paths, walls, windows, etc.)
  • ornamental ponds and water features.

Class A recycled water is used in residential developments for irrigating open spaces such as parks and sporting grounds, and for fire hydrants.

 

What is Class A recycled water not suitable for?

Class A recycled water is not suitable or recommended for:

  • drinking
  • cooking or use in the kitchen
  • bathing or showering
  • filling swimming pools or spas
  • children's water toys.

 

Can I water my plants with Class A recycled water?

Yes. All plants can be watered using Class A recycled water from the purple pipe system. This includes edible plants such as vegetables, herbs and friuit trees.

As recycled water has a higher salt content than drinking water, we advise you to direct the recycled water to the roots of your plants, not the foliage. This will protect them from potential leaf burn.

Some plants, including citrus trees, roses, azaleas and camellias may be particularly sensitive to salt in their seedling stage.

 

Do water restrictions apply to recycled water?

No. Water restrictions do not apply to recycled water supplied to new developments.

Similarly, the Permanent Water Saving Plan does not apply to recycled water.

However, recycled water is a valuable resource and should not be wasted.

 

Who is connected to Class A recycled water?

Homes, businesses, parks, sporting fields, parks, open spaces and community facilities in new urban developments at Armstrong Creek and Torquay north are connected to Class A recycled water. This includes the following land releases:

  • Warralily, Armstrong Creek
  • Warralily Coast, Armstrong Creek
  • Warralily Promenade, Armstrong Creek
  • Armstrong, Armstrong Creek
  • The Dunes, Torquay,
  • Zeally Sands, Torquay.

All new properties in these developments are required to connect to Class A recycled water.

 

How is Class A recycled water supplied to my property?

Class A recycled water is supplied by a dedicated "purple pipe" system.

The plumbing network consists of two pipelines and two meters at each property; separate pipelines, meters and taps for the recycled water and drinking water supplies.

 

How do I turn on my recycled water tap?

All purple recycled water taps require a tap key. Your plumber or builder should have provided you with a purple tap key for each of the recycled water taps.

If you don't have a purple tap key, you should contact your builder. Alternatively, you can use a compatible 'anti-vandal' tap key, available at most hardware stores.

 

How much Class A recycled water cost?

The price of Class A recycled water is set at 80% of the price of drinking water.

Class A recycled water is charged per kilolitre (1,000 litres). There is no additional service charge.

On your bill you will see a fixed fee for water and sewerage services, and seperate items for drinking water and recycled water volumes.

  Fees and charges (residential customers)

 

What are purple pipe, dual pipe and third pipe systems?

These terms are interchangeable. We generally use the term "purple pipe" to refer to recycled water plumbing.

Developments connected to recycled water are variously referred to as "purple pipe" developments, "dual pipe" or "dual reticulation" developments (referring to the water and recycled water pipes) or even "third pipe" developments (referring to the incoming water and recycled water pipes, and the outgoing sewerage pipe).

 

Will recycled water be available to existing homes in other suburbs?

No. It is too expensive and difficult to re-plumb existing suburbs with a "purple pipe" recycled water system.

In the case of new developments, we will assess if it is financially viable to service these with recycled water.

 

Is recycled water safe to drink? What happens if I drink it?

Class A recycled water is not approved for drinking. However, it is treated to an extremely high standard and accidental consumption is not likely to make you ill.

If you accidently drink Class A recycled water, there is no need to panic. Should you experience any adverse symptoms or feel unwell, consult your doctor.

 

Do I need to check my plumbing for cross-connections?

Your drinking water and recycled water plumbing must be completely separate. If drinking water is mistakenly plumbed to recycled water outlets (or vice versa) this is called a cross-connection.

During construction of your home, the Victorian Building Authority undertook inspections to ensure your plumbing was installed correctly. We recommend householders conduct a yearly cross-connections test. This only takes a few minutes, and doesn't require a plumber.

  1. Turn off the stop valve on your drinking water meter and run your indoor taps and outdoor taps and flush your toilets. Your toilets and outdoor taps should run as normal (as they are connected to recycled water) but the indoor taps should run dry after a few seconds (double story houses can take a little longer). If not, this could indicate a cross-connection. Ensure all the taps are off before turning the drinking water stop valve back on. Slowly turn the taps on to allow trapped air to escape, and turn them off again.
  2. Turn off the stop valve on your purple recycled water meter and test your outdoor taps. As these are connected to recycled water, they should shortly run dry. If they keep running, this may indicate a cross connection. Likewise, test your indoor taps and appliances. If they don't run as normal, they might be connected to recycled water instead. Ensure all taps and appliances are off before turning the stop valve back on.

If you think you may have a cross connection, contact us to speak with a member of our Connections team.

 

Do I need a rainwater tank?

No. New homes must meet the Australian Building Code's 6-star rating, which mandates either a rainwater tank for toilet flushing or a solar hot water system.

However, a Class A recycled water connection will also meet the requirement as an alternative to connecting to a rainwater tank.

You may still choose to install a rainwater tank too.

  

How is Class A recycled water regulated?

Class A recycled water is strictly monitored to ensure it meets water quality standards in accordance with guidelines set by the Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

 

I am a plumber. What do I need to know about connecting recycled water?

It is a requirement of both Barwon Water and the Victorian Building Authority that plumbers complete their work in accordance with our conditions of connections.

In purple pipe areas, there are additional plumbing requirements, including the need for three mandatory plumbing inspections during construction of the property.

  Information for plumbers connecting recycled water 

 



More information

 

Learning centre

For general information on recycled water, including the different classes of recycled water and our infrastructure projects, refer to the learning centre page

  Learning centre: Recycled water general information 

 

Business customers

For commercial, industrial and agricultural customers, including new and existing recycled water customers, please refer to the recycled water page in the business customers section.

  Recycled water for business customers