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Water Recycling

Water recycling helps us meet the growing demand of this valuable resource and ensures our valuable groundwater is less impacted.

Find our more about groundwater here.

What is Recycled Water?

Recycled water is a renewable resource that is not subject to the same water restrictions as drinking water.

Non-drinking water sources include wastewater, greywater, rainwater, stormwater and groundwater which may need further treatment for the intended use. You can read more about these below.

The State water recycling strategy explains how recycled water can be safely used in a range of sectors in Western Australia.

Since this strategy was published in 2008, we have continued to work together with other agencies and the Water Corporation to promote safe water recycling.

Recycled water can be used for:

  • industrial, commercial and residential uses
  • drinking water
  • agriculture
  • environmental benefits, such as supporting wetlands
  • irrigating public parks, playgrounds, sporting grounds and golf courses.


Wastewater is an important alternative water source. It is climate resilient, located closer to potential future demand zones, relatively consistent in quality and available in significant volumes that increase with urban growth.

Wastewater is the used water from households and business that is disposed of through the sewerage network (or into septic tanks in some areas).

Treated wastewater is discharged from a wastewater treatment facility after it has passed through treatment processes to reduce its nutrient and bio-chemical load. If treated wastewater is considered as a non-drinking water source option, further treatment may be required.

In some proclaimed public drinking water source areas, irrigation with treated wastewater is considered an incompatible land use. You can contact us at [email protected] for additional information.

Recycling wastewater is part of the managed water cycle and accounted for in developing urban water strategies and management plans.

Read more about wastewater recycling:


Rainwater is water harvested directly from roof runoff from domestic or commercial buildings and captured in rainwater tanks. Rainfall is variable in Perth, so to optimise the full potential of rainwater as a water source, the rainwater system should be plumbed into the building for non-drinking purposes, such as in laundries and toilets.

On average, a roof area of 100 m2 (approximately 50 per cent of an average house in Perth) can collect about 50,000 litres of water a year when plumbed for internal and external use. With an appropriately sized rainwater tank, this could supply up to 20 per cent of a household's water needs.

Before installing a rainwater tank, approvals from your local council may be required.

Read more about rainwater:

Stormwater Harvesting

Stormwater is urban surface water runoff from rain events. In areas such as the sandy soils of the Swan coastal plain, rainfall and resultant stormwater naturally recharges the superficial aquifer.

Stormwater drainage systems are often former natural waterways and the harvesting of stormwater can impact on ecosystems and water bodies that are dependent on that water.

Proponents need to consider these requirements of the catchment in determining the volume of water that can be collected for large-scale harvesting systems and the impacts on the local water balance.

Governance around ownership, operation and management of a community-scale stormwater system should also be considered.

Find out more about stormwater harvesting:

No matter what recycled water option you use for your development or property, its always important to ensure that it meets the Federal, State and Local requirements. Please refer to the Shire of Northams LPP2 General Development Guidelines.