Class A Recycled Water – Customer Findings

In January 2021, Western Water asked its Class A recycled water customers to complete a survey to help inform future planning for the service across the region.

Thank you to the 324 customers who completed the survey and shared their insights.

What we heard

Most customers support the supply of Class A recycled water to households. However, some customers have concerns about the price, quality and safety of recycled water.

We noted that there were some gaps in customer knowledge including:

  • most customers did not know they had to complete an annual cross-connection check for their recycled water supply
  • some customers were not sure about what recycled water could be used for and whether it was safe to use, and
  • some customers were not aware that recycled water was plumbed into their home to flush their toilets.

How customers are using Class A recycled water

The most common use for Class A recycled water on a daily to weekly basis was toilet flushing, followed by watering lawns, gardens and, to a lesser extent, for clothes washing.*

Other less frequent and suitable uses include car washing and hosing down paths and driveways.

Table 1: Class A recycled water use on daily to weekly basis

*Not all homes have been set up with access to Class A recycled water in the laundry.

Benefits of recycled water

The two most recognised benefits of having Class A recycled water supply were:

  1. being part of a community committed to sustainability
  2. keeping my lawn and garden green.

Most customers (around two in three) recognised as many as five different benefits from having Class A recycled water. Only 8% stated there were no benefits.

Table 2: Benefits of Class A recycled water

Next Steps

Communications campaign

In June we sent out information to Class A recycled water customers to address the gaps in information and any areas of concern and to provide details about how to conduct a recycled water cross-connection check.

Pricing review

We noted that Western Water customers have low satisfaction with the value for money for Class A recycled water.

With respect to pricing for Class A recycled water, we want to assure the community that it is likely that Western Water’s pricing approach will change to better match community expectations under Greater Western Water (GWW).

Planning for GWW’s next Price Submission is underway with revised prices likely to come into effect from 1 July 2023.

We are sharing the community’s feedback about Class A recycled water to the price submission team and we will also share opportunities with you on how to get involved in price submission engagement activities.

Question or comment?

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