Water use

Sydney Olympic Park is home to Australia’s most successful integrated water recycling system saving over 900 million litres of water annually. Harvested water is used for irrigation, ornamental fountains, and toilet flushing across all of the Park’s sports and entertainment venues, office buildings and apartments, as well as homes in the adjacent suburb of Newington and Newington Public School.

The Authority requires all new development to connect to the Authority’s recycled water system to reduce potable water consumption by all users.

During 2019-20, 921,000 kilolitres of recycled water (the equivalent of 368 Olympic swimming pools) was produced for use in Sydney Olympic Park and the adjacent suburb of Newington, servicing approximately 30, 000 residents and workers. The Park runs on 80% recycled water, saving thousands of kilolitres of drinking water every year!

Stormwater from buildings and roads in the northern catchments of the town centre is harvested into water storage ponds and used to irrigate park areas, landscapes and sport fields, as well as feed into the water recycling system. In 2019-20, approximately 345,000 kilolitres of stormwater was harvested and used for parkland irrigation.  

For more info read about the Authority’s Water Management.  

Reduce your water usage and associated water bills

When purchasing appliances; find the product with the highest water efficiency by using the star rating label as a guide.

Save water in the kitchen

  • Install a flow regulator on your existing kitchen sink tap.
  • Get your frozen foods defrosted earlier in the fridge, rather than using a sink full of water.
  • Steam your veggies instead of boiling them.
  • Repair leaky taps. Use a drip calculator to see how many litres of water is lost down the sink with x numbers of drips per minute!
  • If you have a dishwasher, wait for a full load before putting it on. If your dishwasher has an economy cycle, try using it regularly to save water. Have a read of your dishwasher manual to find out what different settings you can take advantage of.

Save water in the laundry

  • Wait until you have a full load before starting your washing machine. On the other hand, if you need to put on less than a full load, adjust to the appropriate water-level by choosing the correct load size.
  • For lesser soiled clothes, choose shorter washing cycles if available or skip the extra rinse in the cycle. Your clothes washer manual will show what options are available to you.
  • Remove stains prior to washing with eco-friendly products/recipes, instead of having to wash garments twice. Using a few basic products, see how it easy it can be to remove stains by following these recipes.

Save water in the bathroom

  • Use the half-flush button on the toilet when appropriate.
  • If you don’t have a dual flush toilet, employ a plumber to install a dual flush or adjust the flush volume.  
  • You can try adjusting the flush volume yourself by inserting a water displacement device into the cistern. You can purchase the device or use a plastic bottle filled with water; the size of the device or bottle of water will depend on how much room is available in your cistern. To place the device in, remove the toilet cistern lid and flush the toilet, once most of the water is gone, place your device in. When inserting a water displacement device, make sure that its placement does not obstruct the flushing mechanism.
  • Repair a leaky toilet. To test your toilet for leaks, place a few drops of food colouring in the cistern. Wait approximately 15 minutes, to see if the food colouring appears in the toilet bowl. If colour appears in your toilet bowl, then a leak is present. Make sure to flush the toilet after inspection to remove any food colouring in the toilet and engage a plumber for repair.
  • Consider using a low-flow model showerhead.
  • Install a flow regulator on bathroom sink taps.
  • Reduce your showers to 5 minutes.

Save water on the balcony garden

  • Minimise outdoor water use in your garden balcony by selecting plants that are appropriate for local growing conditions.  
  • Only water plants at night, this creates less water lost via evaporation in the sunny hours of the day.
  • To save on water when watering pot plants you can install a small ‘olla’ (unglazed terracotta vessel). Olla’s work as a type of drip irrigation for your pot plants. You can purchase your own small olla or even try making your own at a local pottery class. Learn more about Olla's design and see how you can DIY.
  • Mulching is a great way to maximise the use of water put into your garden pots, as mulching helps to keep the moisture in soil and prevent evaporation. Learn about different types of mulch that can be utilised in your garden pots. 

What else can you do to save water in your home

Take the time to collect the water that heads down your drain when waiting for the water to heat up. You can use a bucket and use collected water straight away on your balcony garden or indoor plants, or you can store it for later- but remember to cap with a lid so that passing mosquitoes don’t use it to lay their eggs!

Learn about what you can do to contribute to National Water Week and share the resources and knowledge with your community. 

For further information on ways to minimise water use, Australia’s Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Homes