Long Term Recycled Water Release Plan

  • Project typeRecycled water
  • Project value$70 million
  • Project scheduleOngoing with future stages progressively added

As our population increases, so does the amount of excess recycled water the city generates. Our existing infrastructure capacity is nearing its limit. To cater for future growth requirements, we have developed a sound and affordable long-term solution for the Gold Coast's excess recycled water.

This project involves 2 of the longest marine pipeline crossings of their type in Australia. With a project value of $70 million, upgrading this important infrastructure has allowed for the future growth of our city and increased the capacity of the existing network, which was built over 30 years ago.

Stage 1 works

Stage one consisted of upgrades and augmentation of the pipelines at the existing Seaway release locations. This will ensure the current system is operating efficiently before proceeding to a staged off-shore solution.

Key components of Stage 1 included:

  • recycled water pump station upgrades at the Coombabah Sewage Treatment Plant and the Benowa re-pump facility
  • upgraded release points at the Seaway to allow for more efficient release
  • new pipelines across the Nerang River and Broadwater to allow for increased volume of excess recycled water to be released at the Seaway
  • upgraded pipelines on South Stradbroke Island.

Stage 2 works

City of Gold Coast is continuing to investigate options to further manage the release of excess recycled water. We are expanding our recycled water network to support business and industry with a climate resilient option.

Stage 2 will plan for the release of recycled water that has not been used across the city. There are no immediate plans for Stage 2, however this page will be updated with information regarding these works when finalised.

Fast facts

  • Excess recycled water released at the Seaway is released on an outgoing tide to control the nutrient load. The pipelines that form the existing recycled water release system were constructed in the mid-1980s at the same time as construction of the Seaway walls.
  • The City of Gold Coast is one of the largest re-users of recycled water amongst urban water utilities.
  • Commercial customers can apply to substitute drinking water for recycled water for a list of approved purposes.
  • The Gold Coast's 4 sewage treatment plants are located in Pimpama, Coombabah, Merrimac and Elanora. Up to 20% of the recycled water produced by the city is used by our non-residential customers for approved uses.
  • Currently, 46 Gold Coast businesses access recycled water to sustainably reduce their running costs.
  • After a wet weather event, our sewage treatment plants work to capacity to process the excess water entering the sewerage network via increased inflows and illegal stormwater connections.
  • Recycled water is scientifically tested numerous times for contaminants during the treatment process before being safely released.


Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about this project and how our non-residential customers are accessing recycled water for approved uses. This newsletter also provides insight into the environmental studies that were completed prior to the design of the system upgrade.

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