Recycled water

The City has an extensive recycled water treatment program which plays an important part of the water cycle in our city. Our recycled water is used by the City and commercial users for a range of uses and the excess is safely released.

Find out more about:

Recycled water is produced by treating sewage that comes into the City's sewage treatment plants. Strict health and environmental standards produce water suitable for particular uses.

Our sewage treatment plants process approximately 155 million litres of sewage from toilets, showers, kitchens and laundries each day.

Plants at Pimpama and Coombabah service the northern Gold Coast, and Merrimac and Elanora service the south.

Sewage treatment processes include the collection, treatment and disposal of recycled water. This journey, from collection through to releasing recycled water to our environment, is an important part of the water cycle in our city. Read more about the sewage treatment process(PDF, 963KB)

Recycled water can reduce organisational water costs

Recycled water is a sustainable, climate-resilient option and can reduce organisational water costs.

A number of industries across the Gold Coast use recycled water, including:

  • agriculture
  • wholesale nurseries
  • universities / schools / TAFE colleges
  • sports clubs / golf courses
  • theme parks and recreational facilities
  • large hotels / resorts
  • manufacturing businesses.

In Queensland, recycled water is regulated differently depending on how the recycled water is used. Queensland Health is the primary regulator under the Public Health Act 2005 for low-exposure of recycled water, such as municipal open space irrigation, the irrigation of pasture and fodder crops, the irrigation of highly-processed food crops and non-food crops, and dust suppression.

Recycled water quality

Recycled water is treated and monitored at sewage treatment plants in accordance with Queensland legislation.

At a minimum, recycled water quality must meet standards set under the Public Health Regulation 2005 Sections 3C and 3D.

The City provides a range of recycled water qualities which dictate the use of the product.

Management of excess recycled water

The City is one of the largest urban utility users of recycled water, using up to 20% of all recycled water produced.

Approximately 115 million litres of excess recycled water is released each day on the outgoing tide at the Nerang River entrance to the Seaway.

This practice has been in place since the early 1980s and is licensed by the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

We monitor and report on this activity under strict operational performance criteria. These include location, timing, volume and quality of excess recycled water releases.

We are part of the regional Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program run by the independent Healthy Waterways Pty Ltd. The Broadwater achieved an ecosystem health grade of B+ in the most recent Healthy Waterways report card in 2020.

Commercial recycled water connections

The City provides options for businesses to access recycled water via recycled water carriers or through connection to the recycled water network.

Find out more about the schemes and how to connect on the Recycled water for commercial users page.