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Recycled water treatment processes
Untreated wastewater
Wastewater going to treatment plants is more
than 99% water. It comes from bathrooms,
kitchens, laundries and businesses.
Primary treatment
This step removes large solid particles from
wastewater using screening, grit removal and
Secondary treatment
Smaller particles and dissolved pollutants
remain after primary treatment. ‘Good’ bacteria
feed on and clean up organic particles and
nutrients. Other typical treatment processes
may include aeration, settling, clarification and
chemical treatment.
This is the last step for all
types of recycled water.
The water is disinfected by
chlorination and/or
ultra violet light, depending
on the end use.
This type of recycled water can be
used for timed irrigation.
Tertiary treatment
Tertiary treatment
This type of highly treated recycled
water is suitable for many uses
including irrigation, in industry
and for watering gardens and
flushing toilets.
Deep sand beds are used to filter out
nearly all remaining organic particles and
suspended material.
Advanced treatment
This step may include microfiltration,
ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis.
These filters are so fine they can trap particles
smaller than a millionth of a metre.
Secondary treatment
Advanced treatment
The recycled water is now
ready for its intended use.
This type of highly treated
recycled water is for specialised
uses such as some manufacturing
processes and for river flows.