Advanced Water Recycling Facility

The new Advanced Water Recycling Facility (AWRF) underpins Parkes' new Recycled Water Scheme (RWS), strengthening water security and bringing Parkes' water recycling activities up to current regulatory and industry best practice standards.

The AWRF treats effluent to a high standard, producing clean, safe, and high quality recycled water to be used for irrigation. This produces a new alternative water supply that can be used for non-drinking purposes. The facility has been constructed alongside the Parkes Sewage Treatment Plant, and allows for 100% reuse of effluent, which reduces both environmental discharges and raw water consumption. In doing so, it brings Parkes water recycling activities up to current regulatory and industry best practice standards.

The Recycled Water Scheme concept has been developed through extensive community consultation and promises to increase water security by providing an alternative source of water for non-domestic use.

The Recycled Water Scheme will provide Parkes with a new drought-proof water supply for irrigation, which will not only reduce the demand on treated drinking water, but also ensure significant parks and green spaces can be maintained during droughts.

The Recycled Water Scheme replaces the Effluent Reuse Scheme; a long-running program that supplied low quality recycled water to irrigate the Parkes golf course and racecourse.

The Advanced Water Recycling Facility uses advanced treatment and disinfection processes to provide safe, high quality recycled water to a larger number of customers. In doing so, it will bring Parkes’ water recycling activities up to current regulatory and industry best practice standards.

The Australian Government contributed $8,725,000 towards the $20.9m project under the National Stronger Regions Fund.


Parkes Shire Council is also working in partnership with the contractor, John Holland, to achieve a sustainability rating for both the water and sewage treatment plant projects through the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). The ISCA rating scheme offers a voluntary sustainability performance evaluation of the planning, design, construction and operation of all infrastructure asset classes.

To date only two water treatment facilities and one sewage treatment plant have been certified under the scheme. Our projects have been registered to pursue Infrastructure Sustainability As Built and Operation ratings. The projects will be tracked collaboratively throughout construction and commissioning and the costs of pursuing the rating will be shared between Council and the contractor. Accordingly a joint sustainability policy and a joint sustainability management plan have been developed for the combined projects.

Key activities in relation to sustainability and the ISCA rating have included:

  • Finalising planning for habitat connectivity and offset vegetation planting
  • John Holland working on collating energy, water and materials data and producing projections for the same based on tendering information
  • Finalising credit interpretation ruling application for the ISCA rating base case
  • Progressing ISCA management, discharges and community health category credit summaries
  • Submission of an 'IS Impact' award nomination with ISCA
  • Closing out stakeholder participation audit actions
  • Projected score for water discharges has had to be downgraded due to outfall channel incident

Review of Environmental Factors

This Review of Environmental Factors (REF) assesses the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of a new Advanced Water Recycling Facility (AWRF) to be located near the new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).

Click here to download the Review of Environmental Factors 

The REF was prepared as an addendum to the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP REF since it was located on the same site. The full STP REF can be found here.