Recycled water

You can use recycled water for lots of different purposes around your home. There are lots of benefits too.

  • Help protect our precious water supply
  • Save money on your water bill
  • Save water in your laundry and toilets
  • Water your garden year-round

We’ve already connected some of you in Cranbourne, Clyde, Lyndhurst, Pakenham and Officer, and we’re connecting more customers every year. We also supply recycled water to lots of businesses in our service area.

Share your suggestions and ideas about how we can improve your recycled water service

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How do I know if I’m connected?

You can identify recycled water by its purple pipes, taps and meter. You should never change or paint your recycled water fittings as the colour helps to avoid confusion with your drinking water supply.

Using recycled water at home

Use your recycled water to:

  • Clean outside areas, including outdoor furniture
  • Flush toilets
  • Wash cars (on the lawn only) 
  • Wash clothes
  • Water lawns
  • Water plants and vegetables in the garden
  • Fight fires
  • Fill your pet’s water bowl (it’s safe for all animals except pigs)

Don’t use your recycled water to:

  • Cook with or use in the kitchen
  • Drink
  • Fill children’s water toys
  • Fill swimming pools or spas
  • Operate evaporative cooling systems
  • Shower or bathe.
  • Connect hand held sprays to your toilet.

Checking your recycled water plumbing

You need to check your connection every year to make sure your recycled water remains connected properly. This is important especially if you've had plumbing, landscaping or renovation works done on your property.

How to check your recycled water plumbing

  1. Turn off the valve on your drinking water meter. Leave the purple recycled water meter on.
  2. Turn on all sink, bath and shower taps (hot and cold) one-by-one. All taps should run dry after a short time.
  3. After the taps have run dry, flush all toilets. They should refill as normal.
  4. Turn on all outdoor taps. All outdoor drinking water taps (if you have them) should run dry, while the purple recycled water taps should continue to run. If this doesn't happen it could mean there's a cross connection, which is where the two water supplies are connected to the wrong outlets.

If you think you might have a cross connection, please get in touch with us as soon as possible at: support@southeastwater.com.au or speak to our Plumbing Team Leader on 13 16 94.

Learn more about how to check your recycled water is connected properly by downloading our How to check your recycled water plumbing guide (PDF, 150KB).

Tips for using recycled water

In the garden

  • Your garden and lawn will love recycled water because of its high nutrient levels. But, keep an eye on any rose, citrus, azalea or camellia seedlings as they can be sensitive to the water’s salt content while they’re starting out.
  • If you’re setting up an irrigation system, make sure you have the right fittings to connect to your recycled water taps.
  • Don’t move or paint over your recycled water meter. If you’re thinking of moving it, please call us as only we can do this for you.

Stormwater runoff

  • Recycled water isn’t good for the stormwater system. If you’re washing your car, stop it running off your property and into the gutter by washing your car on the lawn.

Recycled water and your toilet

  • In the warmer months, use a toilet or in-cistern product to mask or reduce any colour or odour you might have.

Washing your clothes

  • Recyled water is safe to use in the laundry, even for your washing machine’s hot wash setting.
  • Just like using drinking water to wash clothes, different detergents can produce varying wash results so choose which detergent works best for you when using recycled water in your washing machine.
  • Recycled water taps and fittings
  • If you need to replace any of your taps and fittings, a reputable plumbing supply store is the place to go.

Recycled water and your bill

We read your drinking water and recycled water meters to measure how much of each type of water you’ve used.

We use this to calculate your bill. You’ll be able to see how much of each type of water you’ve used on your quarterly bill.

How we supply your recycled water

Water from your kitchen, laundry, shower and toilet leaves your house through wastewater pipes.  We then treat it to Class A standard at our water recycling plants to make sure it meets the Australian Recycled Water Guidelines. 

Then, we send it back to you through our purple pipes network for you to use in places you don’t need drinking water – like your garden, toilet or washing machine.

Recycled water is perfectly safe to use around your home. We don’t recommend drinking it, but don’t worry if you accidently drink it. We treat it to a very high standard and it’s very unlikely to make you sick. If you do feel unwell after drinking it, please seek medical advice.

Recycled water for business

We supply recycled water to lots of businesses in our service area – including turf growers, nurseries, golf courses, irrigators, wineries and many more.

Businesses usually use recycled water for:

  • Toilet flushing
  • Garden watering
  • Vehicle washing
  • Washing down outdoor furniture and the building exteriors

It may also be used for some production or process purposes depending on volume required and only as approved with us. This could include:

  • Industrial systems such as boiler feed, cooling or quench water
  • Commercial laundry

Please contact us to discuss alternative uses for recycled water and remember that recycled water isn’t suitable for drinking or other personal use.

Benefits of recycled water for your business

  • Save money and water every time the toilet is flushed or outdoor tap is used.
  • It’s free from water restrictions and permanent water saving rules, providing a guaranteed water supply in future periods of drought.
  • Promote your environmentally responsible practices to customers.
  • Helps ease the burden on our precious drinking water supplies.

Although recycled water is treated to a very high standard, we don’t recommend drinking it. You should inform your visitors about recycled water and ensure the ‘Recycled water – Do not drink’ signs placed near outdoor taps and on the outdoor recycled water storage tank are clearly visible.

How to connect your business

Licensed plumbers install recycled water plumbing in line with our Conditions of Connection. These conditions require that recycled water be supplied from a 10,000 litre (minimum) storage tank which is connected to the toilets and outdoor taps at the premises.

Any changes to your plumbing must be carried out by a licensed plumber. Before recycled water is supplied, your recycled water meter will be restricted with a lock box. Once recycled water is available and we carry out final commissioning, the box on your meter will be removed and you can start using it.

How to get in touch?

For general enquiries about recycled water, please call our Recycled Water Officer on 9552 3575 between Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.