Narara Ecovillage aims to be self sufficient for its complete water needs. Narara Ecovillage Water (NEV) Water provides all potable water, sewer and recycled water services to the Narara Ecovillage site.
NEV Water holds Network Operator and Retail licenses under the NSW Water Industry Competition Act (WICA). Narara Ecovillage was granted the first community-owned water licence in NSW by NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin on the recommendation of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). These licenses allow the Ecovillage to provide residents with drinking water from the community’s own catchment and on-site dam, treat all sewerage and provide recycled water for use in the village. When combined with stormwater harvesting and management, the system will allow the community to be completely water self-sufficient.
About Narara Ecovillage’s integrated water treatment system:
* Water from the 45M litre onsite reservoir known as Narara Dam will be used to provide drinking water for residents as well as bushfire fighting
* The raw dam water will be treated onsite in a potable water treatment plant which is to be designed, constructed, monitored and maintained by Aquacell. It uses ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, UV and chlorination to ensure compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG)
* All blackwater (sewage) will be collected in a buffer tank and treated in an onsite waste water treatment plant known as a membrane bioreactor waste water system.
* Recycled blackwater will be recirculated to each residential lot and community facilities for toilet flushing and garden irrigation, then used to irrigate community agricultural land.
* Award-winning water recycling company Aquacell Pty Ltd has worked with Narara Ecovillage throughout the development of this project and will provide operational support for the running of the water system. The waste water treatement plant is maintained and operated under contract by Aquacell, and features built-in monitoring systems which allow NEV Water technicians to monitor remotely
* The potable water system will be commissioned to be available once the first 30 houses have been constructed and occupied.
The Narara Ecovillage integrated water cycle management system supports the aim for ‘no nutrients to leave the site’, with future plans to compost sludge produced in the waste water treatment plant with other waste organic material, creating a rich fertiliser for use on the site.