Class A recycled water will soon be on its way to Armstrong Creek and Torquay North.
New homes and community facilities in these water sensitive urban developments will have a dedicated "purple pipe" delivering the recycled water.
Not what you're looking for?
The information on this page is for residential customers connecting to Class A recycled water in new developments (e.g. Armstrong Creek).
If you are a business or commercial customer looking to connect to recycled water, refer to the business customers page. If you are a plumber connecting recycled water to homes, refer to the information for plumbers.
|What is Class A recycled water?|
|What are the main benefits of recycled water?|
|What can I use Class A recycled water for?|
|What is Class A recycled water not suitable for?|
|Can I water my plants with Class A recycled water?|
|Do water restrictions apply to recycled water?|
|Who will be connected to Class A recycled water?|
|How is Class A recycled water supplied to my house / property?|
|What are purple pipe, dual pipe and third pipe systems?|
|Will recycled water be available to existing homes?|
|What will recycled water cost?|
|When will Class A recycled water be available?|
|Is recycled water safe to drink? What happens if I drink it?|
|How can I check for cross connections?|
|Do I need a rainwater tank?|
|How is Class A recycled water regulated?|
|I am a plumber. What do I need to know about connecting recycled water?|
Recycled water is a safe, high quality, renewable resource.
Class A recycled water is the highest quality available, and is the only recycled water that will we will supply for residential use.
Recycled water has been used in Australia and other parts of the world for many years.
Recycled water is always in supply, regardless of climate or population factors.
It is not subject to water restrictions, and is cheaper that drinking (potable) water.
Based on EPA Victoria guidelines, Class A recycled water is suitable for:
Class A recycled water will also be used in residential developments for irrigating open spaces such as parks and sporting grounds, and for fire hydrants.
Class A recycled water is not suitable or recommended for:
Yes. All plants can be watered using Class A recycled water from the purple pipe system. This includes edible plants such as fruit trees, vegetables and herbs.
As recycled water has a higher salt content than drinking water, we advise you to direct the recycled water to the roots of your plants, not the foliage. This will protect them from potential leaf burn.
Some plants, including citrus trees, roses, azaleas and camellias may be particularly sensitive to salt in their seedling stage.
No. Water restrictions do not apply to recycled water supplied to new developments.
Similarly, the Permanent Water Saving Plan does not apply to recycled water.
However, recycled water is a valuable resource and should not be wasted.
Homes, businesses, parks, sporting fields, parks, open spaces and community facilities in the new water sensitive urban developments of Armstrong Creek and Torquay North will be connected to Class A recycled water.
All new properties in these developments will be required to connect to recycled water.
Class A recycled water is supplied by a dedicated, separate "purple pipe" system.
The plumbing network in the new developments will consist of 2 pipelines and 2 meters at each property: separate pipelines, meters and taps for the recycled water and drinking water supplies.
These terms are interchangeable. We use the term "purple pipe" to refer to recycled water plumbing.
Developments connected to recycled water are variously referred to as "purple pipe" developments, "dual pipe" or "dual reticulation" developments (referring to the water and recycled water pipes) or even "third pipe" developments (referring to the incoming water and recycled water pipes, and the outgoing sewerage pipe).
No. It is too expensive and difficult to re-plumb existing suburbs with a "purple pipe" recycled water system.
Where there are major new developments already underway, we will assess if it is financially viable to service these developments with recycled water.
Exact pricing for Class A recycled water is still under review.
It is expected that Class A recycled water will cost 80% of the price of drinking water (by volume) and that there will be no service charge.
We propose that business and residential users pay the same for recycled water.
Armstrong Creek is on-track for the first recycled water connections in our region.
We expect that Class A recycled water will be supplied to homes, schools, sports clubs and businesses in Armstrong Creek from late 2013.
Initially, residents will receive regular drinking water via the purple pipe (as well as via the normal drinking water pipe) until there is a sufficient supply of Class A recycled water available.
Drinking water supplied via the purple pipe network will be charged at the drinking water tariff and will be subject to any drinking water restrictions.
Class A recycled water is not approved for drinking. However, it is treated to a very high standard and accidental consumption is unlikely to make you ill.
If you or a your child accidently drinks Class A recycled water, there is no need to panic. Should you experience any adverse symptoms or feel unwell, you should consult your doctor.
In dual-pipe systems, drinking water and recycled water plumbing must be completely separate. If drinking water is mistakenly plumbed to recycled water outlets (or vice versa) it is called a cross connection.
When a house is built in a dual-pipe area, the plumber must arrange 3 inspections at different stages of construction. The Plumbing Industry Commission (PIC) conducts these inspections to ensure there are no cross connections. Barwon Water requires that these inspections take place, and the stop valve on the recycled water meter is locked shut until the final inspection has been passed.
It's easy to conduct your own plumbing check for cross connections.
If you think you may have a cross connection, contact us to speak with a member of our Connections team.
No. New homes built in Victoria must meet the Building Commission's 5-star rating, which currently mandates either a rainwater tank for toilet flushing or a solar hot water system.
However, a Class A recycled water connection will also meet the requirement as an alternative to connecting to a rainwater tank.
You may still choose to install a rainwater tank as well.
Class A recycled water is strictly monitored to ensure it meets water quality standards in accordance with guidelines set by the Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
It is a requirement of both Barwon Water and the Plumbing Industry Commission (PIC) that plumbers complete their work in accordance with our conditions of connections.
In purple pipe areas there are additional plumbing requirements , including the need for 3 mandatory plumbing inspections during construction of the property.
For general information on recycled water, including the different classes of recycled water and our infrastructure projects, refer to the learning centre page
We have developed an information pack of 12 fact sheets on our new recycled water planning, projects and business.
For commercial, industrial and agricultural customers, including new and existing recycled water customers, please refer to the recycled water page in the business customers section.