Adelaide to get Aus$ 62 million water reuse project

The federal Australian government and South Australia (SA) state will invest Aus$ 62.6 million (US$ 41.3 million) in a project to supply 1.6 million m³/year of treated wastewater to new housing developments in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, where a large desalination contract is also due to be let in March 2009.

As part of the Southern Urban Reuse Project, about 8000 new homes have the potential to be connected into a dual-reticulation system to receive recycled water for non-potable uses, such as on gardens and for toilet-flushing.

Announcing the funding on 12 February 2009, the federal minister for climate change and water, Senator Penny Wong, said the project would substitute traditional sources of water, such as the river Murray, with non-potable treated wastewater.

"It will increase Adelaide's water security by conserving drinking water supplies, and reducing the need to rely on water from the River Murray," she said.

The SA minister for water security, Karlene Maywald, said that the project would reduce the volume of treated wastewater discharged to Gulf St Vincent and increase the percentage of recycled water used in Adelaide.

"Adelaide is Australia's leading capital city in recycling water. We currently recycle about 30% of treated wastewater, which is more than double the average for metropolitan utilities at 13%," she said. "With projects currently under way, our reuse will increase to nearly 45%."

The project will take treated wastewater from the Christies Beach wastewater treatment plant (WWT)and transfer it to the Aldinga WWT. From there it will be stored and further treated before being supplied to new developments in residential areas around Seaford, in a similar system to that already used at Mawson Lakes.

Work should start in April 2009 with first water supplied to new developments in late 2010.

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