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 as we prepare for our integration with City West Water to form Greater Western Water on 1 July.

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, and
  2. keeping my lawn and garden green.

Around 2 in 3 customers recognised as many as five different benefits from having Class A recycled water, while 8% stated there were no benefits to having Class A supply.

Table 2: Benefits of Class A recycled water

Next Steps

Communications campaign

Western Water is undertaking a communications campaign for Class A recycled water customers. This will address information gaps and any areas of concern. In particular, we will share details on how to conduct a recycled water cross-connection check.

Pricing review

We noted that customer have low satisfaction with the value for money for Class A recycled water. This finding will be relayed on to the Greater Western Water regulatory team for consideration as they develop topics for Price Submission 2023.

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