What’s water recycling?
The water we provide for our customers is taken from the environment. After our customers have used it, we treat it and return it to the environment once more. The cycle then repeats.
Water recycling essentially speeds up the natural process of water treatment. Instead of returning treated water to the environment, we’re exploring ways to recycle it. This means we can keep it in our network reducing the amount we need to take from the environment.
A treatment process that includes ultra-filtration allows us to turn what was previously regarded as wastewater into clean water. Tiny membranes are used to filter out salt and other molecules. In fact, so much is stripped from the water that we have to add some necessary minerals back in afterwards.
This process is already in use in other parts of the world – in California, they’ve been recycling water for more than 40 years.
Our water recycling plans
We’re considering the option of a Water Recycling Plant that would recycle water from our Budds Farm Wastewater Treatment Works. It would be capable of producing up to 61 million litres of treated water per day to address the forecasted shortfall.
We’re working with a range of international experts, our regulators and environmental organisations to develop our investigations. We’re exploring different types of water recycling:
- Some include releasing treated water into our existing water sources – such as a lake or watercourse – where it will top up our supplies and become diluted. We’ll then extract water from these sources for further treatment before it is used by our customers.
- Other options include putting recycled water directly into supply – avoiding the need to take and treat it again before it’s ready for customers to use.
This is just one of our strategic solutions we're exploring to address water shortages in Hampshire.