Publication Details

Vanderzalm, J., Levett, K., Page, D., Dillon, P., Toze, S., Miotlinski, K., Sidhu, J., Barry, K. & Alexander, K. (2010). Assessing the risks of recycling urban stormwater for potable supply via an aquifer. STORMWATER 2010: National Conference of the Stormwater Industry Association Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-9). Australia: National Conference of the Stormwater Industry Association.


Urbanisation and the subsequent increase in impervious land use generate increased urban stormwater which can be recycled viamanaged aquifer recharge (MAR) to supplement more traditional surface or ground water supplies. This paper compares the quality of stormwater from two urban catchments in South Australia to assess the risks, in accordance with the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling, of recycling stormwater via a limestone aquifer for potable water use. In the regional city of Mount Gambier, stormwater MARin a karstic aquifer has been used to supplement the city's drinking water supply for over 100 years. The source water was generally high quality with some instances of turbidity, iron and lead exceeding the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). Effort wasmade to constrain the estimate of minimum residence time within the karstic aquifer to at least two years for evaluation of the potential for passive treatment of trace organic chemicals in this system. In the second example, a purpose built MAR site in Parafield, a northern suburb of Adelaide, has been designed and operated asa full scale trial to determine if wetland treated urban stormwater can be recovered at a standard which meets the ADWG. Based on the analysis undertaken, the source water was generally of high quality with occasional instances of levels of iron and microbial indicators in excess of the ADWG. After a mean residence time in the aquifer of 240 days, recovered water qualitymet the ADWGwith the exception of iron. However, given the uncertainty in pathogen concentrations in the treated stormwater post-recovery from the aquifer, disinfection and aeration for iron removal would be necessary to ensure that the ADWG were met if the water was to be utilised for potable water supply.