Access to quality water supply is essential for healthy living.
It is encouraging to see that many Australians are responding to the need to conserve water in the laundry.
Laundry wastewater is over 99.9% water. Through the washing process, small amounts of chemicals and microorganisms are added to wastewater. By making a wise choice of laundry detergent and by washing wisely, you can minimise the chemical load in your household laundry wastewater. This helps to reduce the burden on wastewater treatment plants and is especially important if your household wastewater is recycled or the treated effluent is discharged to an inland waterway.
It is important for many Australians to be aware of the amounts of sodium and phosphorus in their wastewater. In parts of Australia where wastewater is treated for reuse on agricultural land, or household greywater is used on the garden, high levels of sodium could be harmful to plants and soil. In other parts of Australia where treated wastewater is discharged to inland waterways, sodium and phosphorus could disrupt the aquatic ecosystems. And, whereas previously wastewater from urban centres was discharged to the ocean, now more and more is being recycled for residential, industrial and agricultural use, but high levels of sodium (and other salts) can make treatment of the wastewater too expensive.