The Cronulla-Woolooware Wastewater Reuse Scheme (CWWRS) provides high-quality recycled water for the irrigation of sporting, recreation and school grounds within the Sutherland Shire. Sutherland Shire Council is one of the only councils that has built and operates a water recycling plant and is committed to expanding the use of recycled water in the local area.
The CWWRS has the capacity to produce up to 4 million litres of recycled water each day which allows Council to keep local sporting fields and recreation areas open during times of drought, as the use of recycled water is not limited by water restrictions. Recycled water is an affordable, abundant and sustainable resource that plays a vitally important role in enabling us to conserve our precious drinking water during the drier months. We are currently on Level 2 Water Restrictions. To find out what this means for Council and the community, please click here.
Over recent years there has been increasing pressure on local government to find alternatives to using drinking water for irrigation purposes. These pressures were highlighted during the 2006 to 2009 water restrictions. At the same time many of the sporting fields were struggling as a result of increased usage levels from patrons.
To address these issues, Sutherland Shire Council opened the CWWRS which supplies tertiary treated effluent for irrigation of two golf courses and 11 playing fields. This $4 million facility was jointly funded by Sutherland Shire Council, the NSW Government’s Climate Change Fund and private users. Work commenced in 2010, and the plant was officially opened in 2012.
How does it work?
The treatment plant receives treated recycled water from Sydney Water’s Wastewater Treatment Plant at Cronulla. The CWWRS administers additional disinfection treatments and removes before the treated water is pumped to nearby sites so it can be used for irrigation. The recycled water scheme uses a completely separate plumbing system to drinking water and cannot be accessed by the public.
The recycled water supplied by Sydney is highlight treated and disinfected, and if not at the required quality, the water will not be taken by Council. Water received by Council receives additional filtration and disinfection with chlorination. The quality of the recycled water is maintained according to statutory standards and is subject to ongoing monitoring.
Benefits of Using Recycled Water
- Reduced consumption of drinking water
- Considerably cheaper than drinking water
- A reliable alternative water supply for irrigation
- Provides valuable nutrients for plant growth, reducing the need to use chemical fertilisers
- Reduces amount of treated wastewater entering waterways
- Irrigation schemes are designed to deliver the right amount of water to keep sports fields and parks in good condition without over-watering
- Recycled water uses a completely different plumbing system to drinking water
- Council is exempt from water restrictions when using recycled water