Recycled water is wastewater that’s been treated so it can be sustainably re-used for other purposes. Throughout our region we treat wastewater at our Water Reclamation Plants and find beneficial ways to re-use the water.
It helps many of parks and gardens remain green year-round as well as boosting environmental flows to Bendigo Creek. Recycled water is also put good use as irrigation on farms and supports local industry.
Wastewater treated at the Bendigo Recycled Water Factory is treated to a Class A standard and delivered through a separate purple pipe system with its own meters and connection points.
If your property has recycled water you'll have a separate water meter, taps and plumbing that are all purple for easy identification.
Almost 3000 people live in Heathcote and we currently receive and treat wastewater from almost 900 residential, business and industrial customers.
As population growth continues, wastewater inflows at the Heathcote Water Reclamation Plant are increasing too. This will mean an increased availability of recycled water.
This anticipated excess– which could be up to 50 megalitres in some years _ is now being considered for broader community use.
An Expressions of Interest process was held in July for business and landowners interested in using recycled water as part of a long-term agreement.
The EOI process has now closed. Find more information on the Heathcote Recycled Water Initiative here.
Why are you launching an EOI process for recycled water?
To keep up with the expected increase of recycled water, we are looking for ways it can be used. We plan to offer recycled water to customers in the Heathcote community on a long-term basis in accordance with Environment Protection Authority guidelines.
The Heathcote WRP is a critical piece of community infrastructure that uses a lagoon-based biological treatment process to produce Class C recycled water. That water can be used to irrigate cooked or processed human food crops. It is also suitable for keeping some public open spaces such as sporting grounds, golf courses or and other areas green, provided there are suitable controls on public access.
Recycled water from the Heathcote WRP has been used to successfully irrigate the Heathcote Golf Club for more than 20 years. This will continue but there is scope for more customers to use this sustainable, nutrient-rich recycled water produced at the Heathcote WRP.
Class A Recycled Water
Class A recycled water is the state’s highest quality of recycled water, with the widest range of uses, including uses that may involve direct human contact. These include clothes washing, closed system toilet flushing, garden watering and firefighting. It can also be used to irrigate food crops that are either consumed raw, or sold to customers uncooked or processed, as well as for all the uses for which Class B and C recycled water can be used.
Class A recycled water is produced in accordance with state’s guideline for water recycling, which were developed by EPA Victoria and the Department of Health.
Class B Recycled Water
Class B recycled water may be used to irrigate sports fields, golf courses and dairy cattle grazing land. It can also be used for industrial wash down, as well as for the uses listed for Class C recycled water, but has restrictions around human contact.
Class C Recycled Water
Class C recycled water may be used to irrigate cooked or processed human food crops. It can also be used for livestock grazing and fodder, as well for some human food crops that are eaten raw, such as apples, pears, table grapes and cherries. It can be used to irrigate some public open spaces such as sporting grounds, golf courses or and other areas, provided there are suitable controls on public access.
Recycled water is a more reliable source of water that is suitably treated for agricultural use and rich in nutrients. It is an independent source of water that doesn't rely on the climate and is in line with EPA reuse guidelines.
Using extra recycled water will benefit the local waterways.