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Returning the water

Back to the Water Cycle

When we’ve finished with the water we’ve used, we need to send it back to the water cycle so that it can continue its journey, and keep looking after life all around the planet. To do that though we need to make sure it’s as clean as possible, and that’s why we have sewage treatment plants.

With Tasmanians sending around 135 million litres of water down the drains every day, TasWater has an enormous network of pipes delivering that wastewater to our sewerage treatment plants. This ensures we can safely return it to the environment and the water cycle.


Don’t flush it!

You’d be surprised at the kinds of things that get flushed or sent down the drain.

All of these items can cause things to go wrong with getting the water out of your home, to the sewage treatment plant, and then back into the environment.



Upon reaching our treatment plants, the wastewater goes through a screen. This catches large items like dentures, phones, wet wipes and other solid matter. It then is left to settle, which allows most of the impurities to sink to the bottom.

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Biological treatment

Once all the big things are out, we have to make sure all the smaller things are gone: the dirt, oil, fat, bacteria. Different treatment plants do this in different ways. With most wastewater, this process gets rid of everything else that needs to be removed to make it safe to return to the environment.

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Tertiary treatment

In some cases, the wastewater that arrives at our treatment plants has specific contaminants and minerals that aren’t able to be cleaned by normal processes. In these cases, we will put it through an additional stage of treatment that targets those specific things so they don’t escape into the environment when we return it.

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What now?

Wow. What a journey that was! Now you know all about the urban water cycle, and how important it is to be smart with how we use water.

We’ve got lots more for you to check out. Click one of the buttons here to keep exploring.

Start the cycle again