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|Government departments Industry associations Multimedia Frequently Asked Questions What is recycled water? Is the person using recycled water safe? Is recycled water safe for use around the home? Is recycled water safe for use in agriculture? How safe is recycled water? What are the potential risks associated with recycled water? What are the common units when talking about recycled water? How do I know where recycled water is used? How do we manage any risk associated with using recycled water? How does the reclamation or treatment process work for recycling water? Can recycled water be used for agriculture and amenity horticulture? How much water is recycled in Australia? What are Australia’s water resources? What can recycled water be used for? How is recycled water defined? Why recycle our water? Why do we recycle water and allocate it to the environment? Glossary||
Is recycled water safe for use in agriculture?
Yes. In Australia, Class A is the highest rating for recycled water used for irrigation and is equal to the most stringent guidelines anywhere in the world. It also exceeds standards recommended by the World Health Organisation for irrigation of food crops. State Departments of Health and Environmental Protection Authorities (or equivalent) set these strict guidelines to ensure the safety of farmers irrigating with recycled water, the public and consumers.
Every reuse scheme requires the approval of these departments and must show that appropriate control measures are in place (before the reuse scheme is commissioned) to guarantee a particular water quality to the user, which is fi t for purpose. These extensive safeguards ensure the microbiological and chemical safety of recycled water from a health and environmental perspective, and also the quality of food crops produced by irrigating with recycled water.
From a health and pathogen perspective, Class A recycled water is considered suitable for unrestricted irrigation of all crops, including food crops. Lower classes can be restricted to certain agricultural crops depending on the irrigation method, crop and post harvest process involved. Separate labeling for produce is not needed as the produce is required to meet the same food safety standards as crops irrigated with traditional water sources.