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MEDIA RELEASE 13 September

Domestic grey water treatment systems could delay construction of future desalination plants
The installation of only 156,000 domestic grey water treatment systems could delay the need for a future desalination plant to be built as well as save over $1 billion, according to recent research by Australian company New Water.

New Water, founded in 2004, provides innovative water solutions to help households reduce their potable water consumption. The company is also a founding member of the Australian Grey Water Institute (AGWI).

Roy Olliff, Technical Expert at New Water, revealed the results of his comparison of the financial, environmental and social benefits of installing domestic grey water treatment systems (DGTS) over building bigger infrastructures such as desalination plants.

“I had a look at the example of Melbourne and potential costs associated with deferring the construction of the desalination plant for 10 years,” Olliff said.

“Installing 156,000 domestic grey water treatment systems, which would provide the equivalent water savings of a 110 ML/d desalination plant as planned in Victoria, would potentially save the government and tax payers $1.05 billion and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,764 x 103 tonnes over 10 years.

“The operation of a desalination plant will cost $55,188,000 and generate 945,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. In this case, it would be equivalent to adding 210,000 cars on the road every year, something that could be avoided with the installation of DGTS.

“This Melbourne example could be applied all around Australia. The adoption of a DGTS policy by state governments is environmentally sound and financially justified. In addition, these figures could increase substantially as the energy prices rise and the costs of grey water treatment systems are likely to reduce over the period,” he added.

As part of his research, Olliff analysed costs associated with energy for transport and treatment of the full water and sewerage cycle of a 110 ML/d desalination project for 10 years. Olliff’s data was obtained from Melbourne Water and Yarra Valley Water Authority amongst others.

He then compared these figures with costs associated with the State Government providing a 50 per cent grant of approximately $468 million towards the installation of 156,000 domestic grey water treatment systems.

Olliff has been invited to present the results of his research at the On-site ’07 Innovation and Technology for On-site Systems conference held from 25-27 September at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW.

Olliff has been part of New Water’s team for 10 years and has assisted with the creation and design of some of the company’s main innovations. He is a member of the Institution of Engineers, the Water and Wastewater Association, Deputy Chairman of Alfred Research and Ethics Committee, Sessional Panel Member with Department of Sustainability and Environment and occasional Lecturer at Burnet Institute, Centre for International Health. He holds a B. Science (London) and M. Science degree (Manchester).

Andrew Pearce, CEO of New Water, agrees with the concept that in-home water management solutions outweigh all of the more expensive and energy intensive centralised solutions such as desalination.

“Grey water recycling at household level can make a considerable difference in our water shortage problem as well as being an efficient and cost effective solution that creates virtually no footprint on the environment,” Pearce said.

“For example, our Aqua Reviva grey water treatment system can recycle as much as 60 per cent of the household waste grey water (water from shower and washing machine) using a biological filtration system and a 12-volt power pump, which can be operated using solar power.

“As the system constantly recycles grey water, it can easily provide the home with a steady supply of water for everyday use, even in periods when there is minimal rain to replenish rainwater tanks,” he added.

Class A treated water from the Aqua Reviva can be used for surface garden irrigation and sprinklers, to flush toilets or use in the washing machine.

In addition to the Aqua Reviva, New Water’s patented technologies include innovative solutions for the collection of rainwater with the Rain Reviva bladder tank as well as the Microslim, Slimline and In-slab tanks. New Water has also recently added solar hot water systems to its holistic range of domestic water solutions.

For more information on New Water, visit or call 1300 552 695 (1 300 NEW WATER).

Released for New Water by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Kim Larochelle or Teanne Ryan on (02) 9413 4244.

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