Class A recycled water: information for plumbers

When connecting Class A recycled water to properties in ‘purple pipe’ areas (including residential, commercial, and council facilities) it’s important to ensure all plumbing work is completed in accordance with Barwon Water’s conditions of connection and complies with the requirements of the Victorian Building Association.

These requirements are designed to minimise the risk of any cross connections between drinking and recycled water supplies.

This information is provided as a safety ‘toolbox’ for plumbers. If you require this information in a different format, please contact us.

Main points to remember

  1. Class A recycled water must only be connected to the outside taps for watering the garden and to the toilets for flushing water.
  2. From 1 January 2020, plumbing inspections at stages 1, 2 and 3 are mandatory. The locking pin on the meter must not be removed until the stage 3 (final) inspection has been passed.
  3. From 1 January 2020, any plumbing work completed after the stage 3 inspection will require an additional inspection.
  4. All fittings and pipework must be purple and correct warning sign displayed.
Sign that reads 'recycled water, do not drink'
All external recycled water taps must have a standard warning sign.

Approved uses

Class A recycled water is suitable and approved for:

  • irrigation
  • toilet flushing (but not bidet sprays)
  • washing vehicles and hard surfaces
  • ponds and water features.

Class A recycled water is not suitable or approved for:

  • drinking
  • any indoor use, other than toilet flushing
  • bathing, showering or use in the kitchen
  • pools or spas.

As such, Class A recycled water may only be connected to appropriately labelled outside taps, and inside to toilets. It must not be connected to any indoor taps, including laundry taps and those used for bidet sprays.

Removable purple key for recycled water taps
All external recycled water taps must be fitted with a removable handle.

Conditions of connection

To maintain safety and quality standards, plumbers connecting Class A recycled water must ensure that the following conditions are met:

  • No cross-connections of drinking and recycled water.
  • Recycled water is only to be connected to toilets and garden taps (front and rear).
  • Purple pipes must be used for recycled water (black pipes with purple stripes do not comply).
  • Below ground, minimum horizontal spacing between recycled and drinking water pipes is 300 mm.
  • Above ground, minimum spacing between recycled and drinking water pipes is 100 mm.
  • Within the dwelling, any crossing over of recycled water and drinking water pipes must be kept to a minimum.
  • All buried recycled water pipes must be identified by tape running along the top of the pipe, attached every 3 metres with the warning ‘recycled water: do not drink’
  • External recycled water taps must be purple, have a removable handle, a ⅝-inch inlet thread and a standard warning sign.

For more detail, refer to Recycled water: condtions of connenction (PDF 44.6 KB)

Recycled water meter lock pin
The yellow meter locking pin must remain in place until the final plumbing inspection has been passed.

Meters and inspections

Barwon Water is responsible for the installation of both drinking and recycled water meter assemblies.

From 1 January 2020, plumbing inspections must be completed by Barwon Water’s authorised representative at three key stages. Plumbers must book an inspection through the Barwon Water website at each of these inspection stages:

  • Stage 1: meter to dwelling. Completion of pipework between the water meter and the building, but before back-filling.
  • Stage 2: rough-in. Completion of pipework rough-in inside the building, but before internal cladding (e.g. plasterboard) is installed.
  • Stage 3: final. After all plumber work is completed, but before the building is occupied and completion certificates have been lodged.

Recycled water meters include a yellow locking pin that must remain in place until the final inspection has been passed.

Make a Class A recycled water inspection notification


From 1 January 2020, any amendments will now trigger an additional (4th) inspection at the completion of works. For all plumbing modifications in recycled water areas, Barwon Water must be notified to arrange a Stage 4: post occupancy inspection.


If you have any questions about compliance with the recycled water connection conditions, please contact us and ask to speak with a member of the Connections team.

If you have questions or concerns about recycled water, please contact us and ask to speak with a member of the Water Quality team.