168-lot estate could be first in NSW to have recycled water
THE Northern Rivers could soon have the first estate in NSW serviced by a licenced recycled water system.
Perrandeya Estate in Caniaba, near Lismore, is a 70-hectare estate owned by Rous County Council.
The precinct will comprise up to 168 lots, with two-thirds currently occupied.
Rous' general manager, Phillip Rudd, said the idea was to reclaim all the waste water from the dwellings, treat it at a plant within the estate, possibly top it up with extra rain water and allow the precinct to be self-sustainable.
There has been no government regulation or any projects to set up a formal recycled water system in NSW, until now.
At its June council meeting, Rous agreed to "progress discussions with the NSW Government and Southern Cross University in relation to the pilot recycled water supply scheme for Perradenya estate".
"Whether that is water that is safe to drink, or water on purple pipes for washing or gardening only, that remains to be seen, but our aim is for the final outcome to be potable water for the community," Mr Rudd said.
Mr Rudd said Perradenya has always had recycled water as part of its intended design.
"We had the millenial drought and the idea of sustainable water is now obviously something we need to look into as a nation," he said.
Mr Rudd said there was a space reserved for a 'reclamation water plant' within the estate.
"We now need to pitch to NSW Government and say that we believe we have the 'Cinderella site' for it here," he said.
"There are three challenges for recycled water: one is social, but we believe most of the current residents of Perradenya expect us to develop this after we explain how safe will it be; then there is the technology, and the regulatory aspect.
"We also need the NSW Government to support this financially and also to regulate it."
The pilot could then be the first licenced system of its kind in NSW and possibly in the country.
Rous will then ask Southern Cross University's School of Environment, Science and Engineering to be a partner in this pilot.
Mr Rudd said SCU would help identifying the best technology available from around the world.
"It's non-financial, it's about them providing academic support regarding Australian standards (of water quality), because they have people with great experience national and internationally in the area," he said.