Rainwater tanks are a very effective way of saving water around the home but they need to be installed correctly and comply with development regulations. Tanks that can store a maximum of 10,000 litres of water don't normally need council approval but rainwater tanks are large, very heavy when full and can cause harm if they aren’t installed or maintained correctly.
If you want to use the water from your rainwater tank in your toilet or washing machine, you must: apply to connect assess the site check your backflow requirements. You may need to install a property specific backflow device.
Greywater is the wastewater generated from your washing machine, shower, bath and basins. If used safely, it can be used for watering lawns and gardens. There are three ways that you can use greywater in your own home:
Manual bucketing - collecting water from either the washing machine or the shower in a bucket for reuse outside on gardens or lawns. Exercise caution though as untreated water from a bath shower and washing machine may contain bacteria, detergents, cleaning agents and waste material which may not be suitable for garden use.
Greywater diversion devices (GDDs) - involves the installation of a device to redirect greywater to the garden or lawn via a sub-surface irrigation system. GDDs require thorough and constant monitoring by the owner/operator. Failure to do so, may result in the device failing, pollution and /or health risks.
Greywater treatment systems - enables you to use treated greywater for toilets, washing machines and on gardens and lawns. Council approval is required and you will need a plumber to install the system.
For unsewered premises (or where there is an on site sewage management facility), greywater must be treated prior to use and Council needs to approve the system, as outlined in the On-Site Sewage Management Policy.
Recycled water is wastewater that's been used in homes and businesses and put it through a multi-step treatment process at the sewage treatment plant to remove impurities. It is deemed to be non-potable water and can be used without undue risk to the community.
Water recycling is becoming a critical element for managing our water resources. Moree Plains Shire Council uses recycled water at the golf course, sports ovals and at the cemetery. Maximising the use of recycled water (treated effluent) is a key action in Council's Integrated Water Cycle Management and Demand Management strategies.
Treated recycled water is able to be used for a number of purposes including:
- Irrigating agricultural crops
- parks, gardens
- golf courses - by safely irrigating recycled water
- sustainable development can be achieved while conserving our high quality water supplies.
Being able to access alternative safe water sources is particularly critical in times of drought. Furthermore, substances that can be pollutants when discharged to waterways (ie nitrogen and phosphorus) can be beneficially reused on:
- industrial sites for dust control
- industrial cooling purposes
- Domestic non-potable use such as toilet flushing, laundries and gardens