Each day, businesses across Sydney use nearly 450 million litres of water. This is almost one-third of Sydney's total water use (www.sydneywater.com.au). Businesses such as Taronga work in collaboration with Sydney Water to maximise opportunities for sustainable water use.
Taronga Zoo is part of Sydney Water's Every Drop Counts Business Program. Taronga works with Sydney Water to identify water saving opportunities on-site with the aim of reducing fresh water consumption. Taronga continually looks to finds ways to save water, reduce the use of fresh water and where possible look for options for reuse water within the Zoos.
The Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Plant at Taronga Zoo was opened in 1996 as part of an original 'Clean Up Australia' initiative. The primary aim of the plant is to keep Sydney Harbour clean and healthy while minimising the volume of fresh water needed for the activities undertaken on a daily basis at the Zoo.
The treatment and reuse plant has recently been upgraded and now includes a new storm water tank, a new micro-filtration unit and process enhancements. The new system aims to reclaim up to 100 million litres of water annually. This project is supported by the NSW Government's Water Savings Fund, which is now part of the NSW Climate Change Fund.
Where is our recycled water used?
The four major uses for recycled water at Taronga are:
- Hosing down of animal exhibits
- Exhibit moat filling
- Toilet flushing
- Lawn and garden irrigation
What are the benefits of using recycled water?
- Reduces the dry weather discharge in to Sydney Harbour
- Reduces our reliance on Sydney Water's fresh water supply, particularly during water restriction periods
- Supports the principles of waste avoidance and resource recovery
- Demonstrates effective water recycling resulting in educational benefits and technology sharing