Renewing Pimpama’s Water: Pimpama Recycled Water Plant
On Queensland’s Gold Coast, the Pimpama Recycled Water Plant has changed the way the region’s residents use water and provided a sustainable new top-quality water source to meet the challenges of drought and population growth.
With increasing water scarcity and a predicted five-fold population increase by 2056, the Pimpama Coomera region needed a new strategy to ensure adequate and reliable water supplies for its residents. Gold Coast Water understood that a shift in water use behaviours and an investment in new facilities was the key to meeting this challenge. In 2004, it adopted the Pimpama-Coomera Waterfuture Master Plan – a fully integrated urban water management strategy with the use of recycled water as a critical focus.
The high quality recycled water produced at the Pimpama plant is a critical part of the region’s water security strategy.
A sustainable water source
The construction of a new recycled water plant was a central component of the strategy to offer an alternative water source for homes and businesses and take the pressure off drinking water supplies. SUEZ and its partners won the contract for the design and build of the Pimpama Recycled Water Plant in 2006. The plant, which was designed to serve a population of 150,000 but can be expanded to service 204,000 people, employs a comprehensive multi-barrier treatment process to turn domestic wastewater into class A+ recycled water. The innovative plant can receive an average of 17 million litres of wastewater each day, expandable up to 51 million litres. Up to 9 million litres of this water goes through additional treatment steps to ensure the highest quality recycled water available.
of drinking water per flush is saved using recycled water in toilets
Typically, domestic wastewater undergoes a four-stage treatment process to achieve Class B classification, making it safe for irrigation. At Pimpama, the water also undergoes the additional treatment steps of ultra-filtration, ultra-violet disinfection and chlorination to meet class A+ standards. This means it can safely be re-used in dual-reticulated homes for flushing toilets, cleaning cars and outdoor surfaces, firefighting, and watering gardens, lawns, and fruit and vegetable crops. By the end of 2015, 9,000 homes and businesses had been connected to the new supply network.
Smart, safe and sustainable
By producing top-quality recycled water for non-potable use, Pimpama’s multi-award winning water recycling plant has helped the region respond to the immediate challenges of chronic drought, and prepare itself for sustained population growth.