With fresh water thinking, we are replenishing groundwater. This is a transcript of our animated video, 'Our water sources: Groundwater replenishment' which explains how this innovative process treats wastewater to drinking water standards and recharges it into existing groundwater supplies.
[Voiceover]: We’re diversifying our water sources and focusing on those that are NOT climate dependant.
About half of Perth’s water comes from our groundwater and groundwater replenishment.
Groundwater comes from rain which filters down through the rocks and soils and into our natural underground aquifers.
An aquifer is an area under the earth's surface where water is held between the particles of rock or soil (sand, silt and clay). We take water from the ground to feed into our water supply.
Our groundwater is a vital resource, especially given our lack of rain, and it’s one we need to
manage in a safe and sustainable way.
One way is by using recycled water for groundwater replenishment.
Groundwater replenishment is a process where treated wastewater is further treated, so it’s good
enough to drink.
It doesn’t rely on rainfall and has the potential to recycle large volumes of water naturally and
sustainably. It also uses less energy than desalination, and makes use of existing infrastructure
which helps keep costs down.
So how does it work?
First, ultrafiltration separates out any dissolved materials that are larger than 1/300th the width of
a human hair.
Next, through a process of reverse osmosis, water molecules pass through tiny pores, 100
times smaller than ultrafiltration, leaving other dissolved materials behind.
And finally, the water is subjected to ultraviolet light to destroy any trace levels of microorganisms
that may remain.
This meets strict drinking water guidelines. It’s then recharged into groundwater for our future
drinking water supplies.
This is just one way we are working to secure our water supply for the future.
Following a successful three year trial, with support from Perth residents, business and
government. Australia’s first full-scale Groundwater Replenishment Scheme was built at Beenyup
in Craigie, in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia.
This will deliver around 28 billion litres of recycled water each year. That’s enough to supply up to
100,000 Perth households with water in the future.
To find out more, visit our website at watercorporation.com.au/ourwater