Twelve sewer-mining wastewater-reuse plants in Sydney

The government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has awarded a water-recycling licence to Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies to build a recycled water plant at the Aus$ 500 million (US$ 490 million) Darling Quarter development.

NSW water minister Phil Costa said the plant was one of a growing number of high-rise commercial office towers to tap into Sydney’s wastewater network to recycle water.

“Construction is under way on a recycled water treatment plant in the basement of the new development to treat wastewater for use in the building’s toilets and cooling towers,” Costa said. “This recycled water plant will use a method known as sewer mining to access wastewater from the main sewer and recycle it onsite, replacing up to 60,000 m³/year of precious drinking water.”

The operators have been granted a licence under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006, a key part of the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Water Plan to secure Sydney’s drinking water by cutting bureaucracy for private investors in recycled water projects. The new plant is one of 12 sewer-mining schemes either operating, under construction or under investigation in Sydney following a push to encourage private investment in water recycling.

The Darling Quarter Development is a partnership between Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and Bovis Lend Lease. Veolia will build and operate the recycled water infrastructure