Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Melbourne passes 20% recycling target

Back towards the start of this decade, the Victorian State Government announced a target to recycle 20% of Melbourne’s treated effluent by 2010.

At the time, it seemed an impressive and ambitious target. However, the drought that followed, increased the urgency and pace of change faster than anyone had predicted.

An article in The Age today reports that the recycling rate for Melbourne actually exceeded 22% during 2006/07.

Similar targets were also announced for Perth (20% by 2012) and Canberra (20% by 2013). More recently, Sydney Water announced a target of around 10% (70 gigalitres/year) by 2015. It will be interesting to see if/when these other targets can be achieved...

Melbourne boosts waste water recycling
The Age
February 27, 2008

More than one-fifth of Melbourne's waste water is now being recycled, two years ahead of schedule, the Victorian government says.

Melbourne recycled 22.5 per cent of its wastewater in 2006/07, Victorian Premier John Brumby said.

"Since 1999 the use of recycled water has increased from around 14 billion litres per year to 65 billion litres," Mr Brumby said.

Water Minister Tim Holding said most of the recycled water was being used by industry, local councils and new suburbs, while some was used on site by water treatment plants.

In 2002, the government had aimed to recycle 20 per cent of Melbourne's wastewater by 2010.

"A key component of the next stage of the government's water plan is to upgrade the Eastern Treatment Plant to provide more than 100 billion litres of Class A recycled water for non-drinking purposes by 2012," Mr Holding said.

Mr Holding said dual pipe systems were being installed directly to new residential developments to provide recycled water across Melbourne's suburbs.

"Over the next 25 years more than 40,000 new homes in Melbourne's southeast will connect to recycled water as part of a dual-pipe system, which will save about four billion litres of water each year," Mr Holding said.

"Recycled water is piped directly to homes in new housing developments for garden watering, toilet flushing and car washing - reducing water use in these homes by about a third."

However, Mr Holding said the government was yet to consider its next target.


Anonymous said...

And when Brisbane commissions the western corridor recyced pipeline later this year, we will be recycling 100% of our water, to benefit industry, some arg and also the community at large.

Qld. Always one step ahead of the souther states....

Stuart Khan said...

Indeed, Brisbane/SEQ will soon be the inarguable leader on water recycling and water conservation in Australia.

Fair point!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the real point is that Melbourne managed to recycle all of this SEWERAGE without forcing there citizens to drink it!!

Brisbane has gone the way of a third world country!

Merricks said...

For my money the Brisbane solution is safer than the Melbourne solution. The risk of some cowboy plumber mixing up the dual pipe system is extremely high, whereas the Brisbane solution involves cleaning the water to a high standard and sending the cleaned water back to source, where it will be both cleaned and dirtied by natural processes hopefully for several months(?) before being reprocessed from the reservoirs.

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