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Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is ready to turn on the taps to deliver recycled water for residential households but there are some vital checks which have to happen first.
Infrastructure for recycled water is in place at new estates in Thrumster and Lake Cathie/Bonny Hills.
However, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Utilities Planning and Design group manager Cameron Hawkins said recycled water has not been able to flow down the pipeline just yet.
Recycled water is delivered through purple pipes, which are completely separate from drinking water.
"There's quite an approvals process we have to go through to go live with the dual reticulation scheme," he said.
Mr Hawkins said Lake Cathie/Bonny Hills residents can expect to use recycled water by February 2023. Recycled water will be connected for Thrumster residents by November, 2023.
Mr Hawkins said part of the approval process includes cross connections checks at individual properties, to make sure each of the pipes is delivering to the correct water source.
"Making sure drinking water is going to the drinking water taps and recycled water is going to the recycled water taps," he said.
Staff are undertaking checks at estates, including at Ocean Club Resort.
Ocean Club Resort manager Karen Twigg said there are about 240 residents who are looking forward to having recycled water for uses including watering gardens and cleaning vehicles.
She credited council staff as being efficient with carrying out the checks, after delays due to the COVID pandemic.
Mr Hawkins said there's a new treatment plant which will be built at Thrumster in 2027/28.
In the meantime, the purple pipes will deliver recycled water to Thrumster from the Port Macquarie Recycled Water Treatment Plant.
Mr Hawkins said the benefits of using recycled water are two-fold.
He said it takes the pressure off the the area's drinking water supply.
Households are estimated to use around 30 per cent less drinking water by using recycled water as an alternative.
Mr Hawkins said use of recycled water by households also has benefits for the environment, as less water is extracted from the river, and less is discharged to the environment from the plant.
For the past 15 years, council has been able to deliver recycled water to commercial businesses and open spaces.
In the Port Macquarie-Hastings area there is 655km of sewerage pipes, more than 167 pumping stations, over 13,000 manholes and eight sewage treatment plants.
The plants collect and treat 7400 mega litres of wastewater each year and currently, 520 megalitres is recycled and reused.
There are National and NSW State Government Guidelines for the production and use of recycled water council needs to follow.
The steps include:
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