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Recycled Water Use

Recycled Water Use Scheme

The Mount Barker District Council operates the largest Council wastewater treatment plant and recycled water scheme in SA, targeting 100% reuse of treated wastewater.

Septic tank effluent from the townships of Mount Barker, Littlehampton, Nairne and Brukunga is directed to Council's treatment plant at Springs Road, Mount Barker. Here, the effluent is treated before being discharged to the Laratinga Wetlands, which provides a habitat for many varied flora and fauna species. The water is reused in several other ways including: watering of parks and gardens in nearby housing estates; use in Council's dust suppression programme; and for irrigation by market gardeners on Bald Hills Road. Additionally, this recycled water is being used by contractors in dust suppression in the development of new housing estates in our Council area. Also, the treated effluent from the township of Echunga is directed to the nearby golf course for watering of the course during the summer months and in Macclesfield, the treated septic tank effluent from the oxidation lagoons is used to water the adjoining vineyards.

Council has sought to identify other end users for recycled water that isn’t seasonal dependent.

In 2011, Council constructed a 120ML reclaimed water storage dam to provide additional storage from the existing Mount Barker Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). This storage meets approximately 18-20% of current annual demand for recycled water and as such represents the largest Council purpose built dam for the storage of treated effluent for a South Australian Council.

A public/private partnership was established between Council and Hillgrove Resources to build a pipeline to deliver water for use as process water in the Hillgrove Kanmantoo copper mine.  With the support of a State Government grant, the pipeline was extended to Callington providing an alternative water source, particularly for irrigation of the oval – a total distance of almost 18km. Take off points allow other properties along the pipeline route to access recycled water, achieving economic and environmental benefits.

Recycled Water Overview July 2015(101 kb)

> Treated Waste Water Council Report (59kb)

> Recycled Water Pipleine Route

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Customer Charter and Pricing Policy

Non Residential

Council undertakes the sale of Recycled Water on a commercial basis with a business development objective that returns environmental, economic and social benefits to the community. The need for appropriate policy was identified with public consultation undertaken in 2008.

On 4 May 2015, Council endorsed the revised Recycled Water - Non Residential Customer Charter and Recycled Water Sale Policy - Non Residential. These documents allow Council to maximise the use of recycled water by entering into Water Supply Agreements with customers.

Recycled Water Customer Charter(64 kb)

Recycled Water Sale Policy - Non Residential(32 kb)


The  Essential Services Commission Of South Australia  (ESCOSA) requires that all water and wastewater retailers such as Councils have a customer charter for retail customers.

Wastewater Service and Residential Non Drinking Water Supply Customer Charter(142 kb)

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The Future

  • Council’s objective is to have 100% reuse of treated wastewater.
  • As the population continues to grow, Council is seeking to also identify suitable opportunities to capture and harvest stormwater to further increase the supply capacity of recycled water.
  • Creation of new economic activity and employment within the region is a priority and recycled water is seen as one means to facilitate this.
  • Council is investigating possible new markets for recycled water in conjunction with a range of stakeholders including the private sector.

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For more information

Should you require further information please contact Infrastructure and Projects on telephone 8391 7290 or email

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