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City West Water

West Wyndham recycled water project

We are leading the way in the use of recycled water in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

In 2016, the West Wyndham recycled water project started supplying high quality recycled water to housing estates in the Wyndham area, as well as a number of open spaces managed by Wyndham City Council.

Recycled water is currently being supplied to around 3,750 homes in Werribee, Wyndham Vale and Manor Lakes.

The current supply is a mix of drinking water and recycled water. Work is ongoing at our Werribee Recycled Water Plant to bring more equipment online for the supply of a 100 per cent recycled water product in late 2017.

The recycled water comes from Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant to our plant, where it is further processed to improve it's quality and then sent to homes and open spaces in the Wyndham area through a dedicated ‘purple pipe’ recycled water system.

If you are connected to recycled water, it is important to make sure your recycled water comes out of the right tap.

How to check your recycled water connection

Recycled water is ideal for watering the garden, doing the laundry, toilet flushing and washing the car - but you wouldn't want to drink or bathe in it.

That’s why if you are connected to recycled water, you need to make sure your drinking water and recycled water supply comes out of the right tap.

During the construction of your home, plumbers connected recycled water from the recycled water system to your house through distinctive purple pipes. Initially, recycled water pipes were not purple so some more established homes may have alternative colours.

It is the owner/occupier’s responsibility to always make sure all plumbing work and the supply is connected correctly. That’s why you must check the drinking and recycled water supplies yourself to make sure they have been correctly installed.

Recycled water connection check should be done in the following situations:

  • prior to City West Water advising you recycled water will be supplied through its recycled water system
  • following general plumbing works around the property.

You can ensure that recycled water is only supplied through your purple recycled water taps and toilets by taking the following five steps or watching the video:

  1. Turn off the drinking water supply to the property at the drinking water meter located at the front of your property. Your drinking water meter is a different colour, to the purple recycled meter. The recycled water supply should be kept on.
  2. Slowly turn on all hot and cold laundry, sink, bath and shower taps one by one. Your should also include your sanitary spray (or bidet) and water/ice dispensers on your refrigerator (if you have one). All taps should run dry after a short period of time. If they continue to run, they could be connected to the recycled water supply.
  3. After all taps have run dry, flush all toilets. Toilets should refill as normal as they should be connected to the recycled water supply.
  4. Turn on all outside taps. The external drinking water tap should run dry. The purple water tap should continue to run.
  5. To check appliances within the home, such as dishwashers, turn on the drinking water supply slowly so that air will be cleared from the pipes. Turn off the recycled water supply at the meter. Then turn on the internal appliances. If the appliances fill with water they are connected correctly to the drinking water supply.

 

Video

How to check your recycled water connection

View Transcript

West Wyndham FAQs

Recycled water has a number of environmental, social and economic benefits. These include lowest block water rates, reduced reliance on drinking water and a secure source of water for a range of purposes.

Customers can use Class A recycled water for:

  • toilet flushing,
  • car washing on grassed areas,
  • garden watering (including vegetable and herb gardens),
  • filling water features (such as ponds and fountains),
  • providing drinking water for your pets (ensure you change it regularly),
  • washing machines (for houses built after 1 January 2015).

Customers should not use Class A recycled water for:

  • drinking,
  • cooking or food preparation,
  • bathing or showering,
  • swimming,
  • bidets and sanitary sprays,
  • filling water toys.
If you accidentally drink recycled water, there is no cause for alarm. It is treated to a high standard, meaning the likelihood of falling ill is low. However, if you feel unwell you should consult your doctor.
Similar to drinking water, water quality testing of recycled water will be conducted on a regular basis. We also regularly audit local plumbers to ensure recycled water connections are fitted according to Victorian Building Authority regulations and carry out inspections during the construction of your home.

Recycled water is produced at Melbourne Water's Western Treatment Plant where it undergoes a very high level of treatment to become Class A recycled water. The recycled water then undergoes further treatment to reduce the salt level at our West Werribee facility so that it will suit most types of plants and the soil conditions in the area.

Following treatment, recycled water is supplied through a separate purple pipe to toilets, external taps and in some cases, your laundry.

Households in the Manor Lakes, Riverwalk, Jubilee, Bluestone Green and Harpley estates will receive water in the first phase of supply. Further estates will be brought online over the coming years as the pipelines are extended from the West Werribee facility to newly developed housing estates. This will mean, as residents move into their newly constructed property, recycled water will be available (see following map).

Stage 1 (Late 2016) - Manor Lakes, Jubilee, Bluestone, Harpley and Riverwalk estates.

Water will be available in the Savana, Wynbrook, Alwood, Wollahra Rise estates upon occupancy.

Stage 2 (2018) - Cornerstone estate (subject to further development).

Stage 3 (2019) - Vineyard and King's Leigh estates (subject to further development).

Public amenities such as parks and open spaces, fountains and ornamental ponds will also benefit from the use of recycled water.

City West Water will initially supply customers with a sign for their purple tap advising it is recycled water and unsafe for drinking purposes. It is the customer’s responsibility to maintain the signage and ensure it is legible. These signs can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Although recycled water is not subject to Permanent Water Saving Rules, it is still a valuable resource and should be used wisely.

To reduce the risk of a cross connection between your recycled and drinking water pipes, you should always obtain approval from City West Water prior to carrying out any plumbing works and always use a licensed plumber.

Recycled water usage will be charged at Block 1 levels – the same as the cheapest level of drinking water. These prices are approved by the Essential Services Commission, the independent regulatory authority for water. Residents will also see a recycled water service charge on your quarterly statement which will cover the cost of the additional infrastructure required to supply the recycled water.

The supply of recycled water relies on purple pipes being constructed all the way to the property.  As more homes are constructed between the West Werribee treatment facility and these estates, the purple pipe will be extended carrying recycled water to the purple meter.

This should happen in:

  • The next 12-18 months for Cornerstone residents (early 2018).
  • Approximately 3 years for Kingsleigh and Vineyard residents (mid 2019).
     
 We acknowledge the delay in providing recycled water to our customers in the West Wyndham area. The necessary infrastructure is now in place and recycled water will soon be supplied through the purple pipes to homes throughout West Wyndham. 

City West Water is responsible for maintaining the water meter (including the recycled water meter) and what is known as the property service pipe for services

You are responsible for the pipe beyond the water and recycled water meters leading into your property. If there is no water meter, or the water meter is not situated at the front of your property, you are responsible for the pipe beyond the stop tap, which is located at the property boundary. A stop tap is the valve that controls the flow of water that enters your property (see image below).

Owners are responsible for, and also pay all costs for:

  • Private fire services from and including the first valve immediately after the water supply main.
    Private extensions or trunk services up to and including the ferrule or ball valve at the connection to our water main.
  • Property services from private extensions.
  • Backflow prevention including any devices and required testing (if applicable).
  • Maintenance of any approved meter pit or cage, installed to protect our water meter.

 

Yes, as long as you change it regularly. All animals can use recycled water for both drinking and bathing, except pigs. Speak to your local vet for more information.
These are available for purchase at your local hardware store.
You can visit our alternative water information for plumbers and developers page for more information on recycled water. Alternatively, the Victorian Building Authority website also information on working with recycled water.
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