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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 around the home?
Health and environmental risks from Class A recycled water (or water fit for the purpose of use in the household) provided to households through reticulated recycled water pipes (lilac) are very low as it has been treated specifically for use around the house and garden. Recycled water use inside the house is usually restricted to the toilet and laundry.
There is also an increasing trend towards grey water use around the home. On-site use of water from the laundry and bathroom (grey water) is not as safe as treated ‘dual pipe’ recycled water because it is likely to contain high numbers of micro-organisms, some of which may cause disease. Kitchen sink waste may pose more health and environmental risk and is best disposed of via sewerage systems.
Australian guidelines for grey water use suggest that grey water can be used for garden irrigation, but only via drip or subsurface emitters and not for vegetable crops. Fruit trees can be irrigated if subsurface or drip irrigation is used, provided that fruit is not allowed to fall on to the ground where bacteria and other pathogens from grey water may reside.