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Space shuttle astronauts declare recycled urine a great taste

Astronauts aboard the space station celebrated a space first by drinking water that had been recycled from their urine, sweat and water that condenses from exhaled air. They said “cheers,” clicked drinking bags and toasted NASA workers on the ground who were sipping their own version of recycled drinking water.

Later on, NASA found it is not just mechanical glitches that make the International Space Station a tough place to operate. Engineers trouble-shooting a problem with the station’s $US250 million ($271 million) water recycling system, which processes urine into clean water for drinking, believe the cause is a high concentration of calcium in the astronauts’ urine, which clogs the system. Source: www.dailytelegraph.com.au and www.news.com.au

South Australia. Water research looks at underground supplies

A study focused in the Willunga basin will try to find out which of South Australia’s underground water resources are most sustainable.

The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training at Flinders University in Adelaide hopes to work out how quickly the aquifers recharge. The study also will look at rivers in central Australia. The findings could be used to determine how much water can be used from underground aquifers in the Murray-Darling Basin. Source: ABC News, www.abc.net.au

Western Australia. We want to drink recycled water: survey

At least three in four West Australians have flushed away common fears of drinking recycled water and now support adding it to the main supply, according to a Water Corporation survey. Support for the controversial practice that includes treating sewerage has steadily increased since the state government started a two-year trial in November 2010.

Treated wastewater is being pumped into the Gnangara Mound aquifer, where it mixes with naturally occurring water. Once the trial concludes in December it will then be used by households. Source: WA News, www.watoday.com.au

Queensland. Could recycled water have stopped Brisbane floods?

Dr Stuart Khan, Senior Lecturer at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales, reports that ironically, the massive floods that were experienced after the drought, could be the strongest argument yet for using recycled water. His article argues that, if Brisbane had not backed away from a scheme to drink its recycled sewage, there may not have been the rising waters that devastated our third largest city in January 2011. Source: ABC Local, www.abc.net.au.

NSW. Yuck factor of recycled sewage may not be such a big obstacle

Sydneysiders would rather drink highly purified sewage as part of a planned recycling scheme than consume the smaller amount of effluent already present in the city’s water supplies, researchers have found. The study, carried out with US researchers, suggests that the ‘’yuck factor’’ associated with recycled sewage can be overcome once people learn they already drink it. Source: Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au

Australia. The National 2012 savewater! awards®

The National 2012 savewater! awards® are now open for entries. This year’s awards program consists of nine categories, with three open internationally.The categories are: 

  • The Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award
  • Australian Achiever
  • Business
  • Community Groups
  • Educational Institutions
  • Government
  • Photographic
  • Product Innovations
  • Water Utilities
For more information visit www.savewater.com.au

ACT water supply to last 20 years

A new report has found water security in the ACT is strong, and is likely to stay that way for the next two decades. Last September the ACT Government asked the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission to investigate how recycled water is used in the ACT, including stormwater, treated wastewater and rainwater. Its draft report has found the Territory has a high level of water security that could last for the next 20 years, thanks to residents using less water and major investments such as the Cotter Dam expansion. Source: ABC Online, www.abc.net.au

Victoria opts for recycling over desal

Melbourne won’t need another desalination plant for up to 50 years under a new plan to manage the city’s water, the Victorian government says. Using recycled water for non-drinking purposes, as well as developing a system where people will be rewarded for saving water, are key elements of the strategy. The Office of Living Victoria (OLV) will develop a regulatory impact statement of minimum water standards for new buildings. Water Minister Peter Walsh said more water runs off Melbourne’s streets and into the ocean than the city uses in a year. Storm water harvesting and using recycled water for non-drinking purposes, such as maintaining sporting ovals and parks, was the key to managing Melbourne’s long-term water needs rather than expensive infrastructure, he said. Source: Ninemsn, www.news.ninemsn.com.au.

Water Reuse Association Community Toolkit

As more communities make use of recycled water to address growing water demands and limited supplies, one of the hurdles to gaining public acceptance of recycled water projects is perceived human health risks. Findings from a recent WateReuse Research Foundation study indicate that, depending on the chemical and the exposure situation, it could take anywhere from a few years to many millions of years of exposure to nonpotable recycled water to reach the same exposure to Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) that we get in a single day through routine activities. Combing this with other research findings, the Water Reuse Association have developed a unique communications toolkit that is a “must have” for any recycled/reclaimed water agency that needs to have the latest information on PPCPs for briefing elected officials, policy makers, or the general public. The information is gathered in a user-friendly pocket folder, ready to hand out to people in your community. More details of how ot order a Toolkit here

Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence

 The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence will enhance the management and use of water recycling nationally and internationally through industry and research partnerships. In 2011 the Centre will invest in a portfolio of industry-relevant research projects across the full water recycling spectrum, developing practical solutions to secure Australia's future water supply while at the same time building awareness and understanding in the community about this precious resource. For more information

Urban water reuse promoted

Autumn 2011 saw a number of stories this quarter promoting the use of recycled water in our urban water supplies.Acting CEO of the National Water Commission, Mr James Cameron has called for greater use of recycled water within Australia’s cities. In a new position statement on urban water recycling, the Commission urges even-handed assessment of the relative merits of water recycling. The Australian Water Association has joined the NWC’s call for greater use of recycled water. Tom Mollenkopf, CEO of the AWA, said that recycled water offers an effective and viable additional supply option to meet Australia’s water needs. This comment follows the release
of the State of the Water Sector survey, commissioned by AWA and carried out by Deloitte. For more details see NWC and WSAA

Trial and tours commence at water recycling plant

Australia’s first Groundwater Replenishment Trial has been launched by the Water Corporation in Western Australia. A purpose-built Advanced Water Recycling Plant will produce up to five megalitres of recycled water each day which is then recharged to a confined aquifer 120-200 metres underground. The trial will determine if recycled water could potentially help boost Perth’s drinking water supplies. The trial is now fully operational and recycled water was first recharged into groundwater on Wednesday 10 November 2010. Go to story...

Golf courses that reuse water irrigate too much

Irrigation is one of the most controversial aspects in the sustainable management of golf courses. Researchers from the Canary Islands have spent 25 years analysing the practices relating to recycled water at one of the oldest golf courses in Spain. The results show that plants on the course receive 83% more water than they need. Go to story...

Recycled water an education

What better way to combine water and biosolids recycling and water education than in a school, where pupils
can live and learn the links and connections between our water use and the environment. That’s exactly what a school in one of Seattle’s most urban neighbourhoods has done. The Bertschi School is a small elementary school that is aiming to disconnect from the municipal water and sewer system to collect, recycle and reuse water and wastewater on site, a concept often referred to as net zero water in the United States. Go to story...

New recycled water plant for Melbourne

19 April 2011 A new recycled water plant in Altona is set to save more than 2.5 billion litres of drinking water each year, reducing demand on Melbourne’s potable water supplies. Commissioning the $48 million plant today, Minister for Water Peter Walsh said up to nine million litres of Class A recycled water would be available for manufacturing and irrigation use each day. Go to story...

Potable Reuse Conference

Florida, USA.  November 13-15, 2011

Potable Reuse: A Reliable Source for our Future

The WateReuse Association will be holding its second specialty conference on Potable Reuse, November 13-15, 2011 at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida. The theme of the conference is Potable Reuse: A Reliable Source for our Future. This specialty conference will bring leading experts in the field together to discuss critical factors in the success of potable reuse projects, including addressing regulatory issues, demonstrating environmental and economic viability, and enhancing public understanding and acceptance. For more information

WA Greens push for more recycling

ABC News Online: The WA Greens says the Water Corporation's admission that it may need to access more groundwater from the Gnangara mound proves water supplies are being mishandled. The Corporation revealed yesterday that it may apply to have have its extraction limit increased if Perth's dry spell continues.

The Greens' Alison Xamon says the mound is already overstressed and not enough is being done to improve water efficiency. The WA Greens say there needs to be more focus on water recycling and efficiency before additional groundwater is accessed from the Gnangara mound. Go to story...

Byron Council wins national award

Byron Shire News: Byron Shire Council has won a top national Local Government award for its Brunswick Area Sewerage Augmentation scheme. Due for completion in late 2010, the new plant will divert treated effluent from Simpsons Creek at Brunswick Heads towards beneficial reuse on farms as part of the Main Arm effluent reuse scheme. Executive manager of water and recycling Phil Warner said the innovative project had multi-purpose delivery goals. Go to story...

Recycled water for Horsham's Creek, Vic

ABC News Online: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given permission for treated effluent to begin flowing into the St Arnaud Creek, east of Horsham, from today. The EPA is allowing Grampians Wimmera Mallee water to discharge 60 megalitres of treated effluent from the St Arnaud Wastewater Treatment Plant for three months.

Increased rain in the past few months has meant reclaimed water users have not needed the treated water and storages are now almost full. Grampian Wimmera Mallee water spokeswoman Helen Friend says the water quality will be tested regularly.

"We've put a water testing regime in place," she said. "It's been agreed by the EPA, just to ensure levels in the creek are staying at a suitable level." Go to story...

Imported recycled water ruled out for WA

ABC News Online: The WA State Government says it is exploring ways to secure future water supplies in the Pilbara following reports recycled water from Tokyo could be used for industry purposes. Japanese researchers are proposing recycled water from Tokyo be shipped to the Pilbara on empty iron ore carriers and used to dampen iron ore dust.

Currently, potable water is being used to dampen down dust on mining projects.
The government has confirmed it has received presentations from the Japanese Government but says it will not consider the water for potable use.It says it is welcoming input from industry on how to better manage water supplies for dust suppression. Go to story...

Australian Government Water for the Future Funding

Through Water for the Future, the Australian Government is investing in a range of programs over 10 years to address four key priorities; taking action on climate change, using water wisely, securing water supplies and healthy rivers and waterways.

For more information visit the DEWHA website.

Water Jobs Latest Listings

WaterJobs is a weekly email service which lists employment positions for water professionals available in the environment management, natural resource, environmental engineering, environmental health and environmental science fields. Employment advertisements should be forwarded to enquiries@waterjobs.com.au.

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