Groundwater replenishment

Find out about this innovative process and how it will help to reduce our dependence on rainfall and secure our water supply for the future.

Climate change is having a profound impact on WA. Hotter summers and lower rainfall in some areas means we must plan for our future by securing climate-resilient water sources to reduce our dependence on rain. 

One of these sources is groundwater replenishment. 

What is groundwater replenishment?

Groundwater replenishment is an innovative concept where treated wastewater is further treated to drinking water standards, and recharged into our groundwater supplies.

The water can then be stored in the groundwater. Our aquifers store and naturally filter the water until we need it.

It doesn't rely on rainfall and has the potential to recycle large volumes of water naturally and sustainably.

How does it work?

Watch our video which explains how this innovative process works:

Read a transcript of this video (new window)

Frequently asked questions

In 2012, we completed a successful 3-year groundwater replenishment trial at our Advanced Water Recycling Plant in Craigie, which determined it could be used as a sustainable option to boost drinking water supplies.

The trial achieved its 3 objectives to:

  1. Prove technical feasibility.
  2. Establish a framework for policy and regulation – recycled water produced by the plant must meet Department of Health and Australian Drinking Water Guidelines before it is recharged.
  3. Ensure sufficient community engagement and acceptance, gaining support from Perth residents, business and government. 

The trial was overseen by regulators, the Department of Health, Department of Water, and Department of Environmental Regulation (formerly Department of Environment and Conservation). They continue to regulate the full scale scheme.

Before wastewater reaches the Advanced Water Recycling Plant, it has already undergone rigorous treatment at the Beenyup Wastewater Treatment Plant.

At the Advanced Water Recycling Plant, it undergoes further advanced treatment processes that included ultra filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection. This removes chemicals and micro-organisms to meet Australian guidelines for drinking water.

Advanced wastewater treatment process

There are several water quality checkpoints (known as critical control points) throughout the treatment process to ensure each stage of the plant is working at an optimum levels.

If water does not meet the required standard when it reaches a check point, it triggers an alert for action to be taken. For example, we may divert the water to waste or temporarily shut down the plant.

Construction of the scheme

Find out more about construction of Perth’s first Groundwater Replenishment Scheme.

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