Wastewater recycling tested in homes

wastewater recycling

A wastewater recycling system that could reuse between 25 to 45 per cent of household water is being trialled by Sydney Water.

Hydraloop is a grey water recycling system that treats wastewater from baths and showers, which is then suitable for use in flushing toilets, watering gardens and topping up swimming pools.

Thirteen units will be trialled at individual Sydney Water customers, a further 12 units will go to a commercial developer and four to a multi-unit social housing redevelopment.

Each day, the average Sydney household uses about 500 litres of tap water, with shower usage accounting for about 25 per cent of total household demand, followed by toilets (17 per cent) and gardens.

Sydney Water believes through installing Hydraloop, property owners could achieve average reductions in household tap water of between 25 per cent to 45 per cent – between 1000 and 1700 litres a week – or the equivalent of saving upwards of $1000 a year on water bills.

For every 16 Hydraloop units that are installed, Sydney Water is expecting a saving of about 1ML/year, a saving of $16,600 per year.

The system, about the size of a fridge, is designed to be installed indoors and in close proximity to the showers and toilets it is connected to. It uses a unique, low maintenance and energy-efficient biological treatment process. The idea is that the recycled shower wastewater becomes the supply for the toilets and about a third of the garden’s need for water.

Multiple Hydraloop units can be linked together in a cascade arrangement for commercial applications where multiple showers and toilets are in use.

Nicola Nelson, Sydney Water Research And Innovation Manager said it is exciting to be at the forefront of experimenting with innovative technology such as Hydraloop.

“We are always looking for ways to improve water efficiency, as well as recycling, including reusing grey water. This trial will allow us to really hone-in on what Hydraloop can actually do in the Australian housing context and how this will help our customers save water.”

“While we are still working through the installation phase, the opportunity to be able to trial this water-saving technology is a significant achievement as it will effectively generate a new climate-independent water supply for homes and businesses.”

“Hydraloop units can accept wastewater from showers, baths and washing machine rinse water and, once treated, can return the supply of water to toilets, washing machine wash cycles, irrigation and pool top-ups.”

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