16 June 2022

Hunter Water teams up with Lake Macquarie City Council to drought-proof sports fields

Hunter Water, in collaboration with Lake Macquarie City Council, is investing $6 million to ensure community parks and sporting fields are kept green even in drought through a new recycled water irrigation scheme.

The investment increases recycled water capacity at the Edgeworth Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW), to make recycled water available for Jack McLaughlan Oval / Edgeworth Oval in Edgeworth and the Pasterfield Sports Complex in Cameron Park.

The Edgeworth WWTW has been supplying recycled water to Waratah Golf Course for more than 25 years having also supplied recycled water to Oceanic Coal Washery prior to its closure.

The expansion will prepare the Edgeworth plant to deliver an additional 20 megalitres of recycled water per year for public open space irrigation.

The project builds on our work with Lake Macquarie City during the last drought (2019 and 2020) which delivered water efficiency improvements for parks and sporting field irrigation.

Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, said recycled water is a safe option that conserves valuable drinking water by matching alternative water sources with appropriate water uses.

“Our community increasingly expects Hunter Water to improve our region’s water resilience and sustainability and that’s the real benefit from this project: improving the resilience of beautiful community assets."
Darren Cleary, Hunter Water Managing Director

"Our community has told us they want to see more water recycling and they are willing to pay to support this. The Edgeworth scheme will replace drinking water to ensure these community assets continue to be in good condition," said Mr Cleary.

Lake Macquarie City Council Mayor, Kay Fraser, said using recycled water will help ensure playing fields are available to be used all year round, even in the event of a future drought.

“Lake Macquarie City Council is committed to creating a sustainable future for our city and this long-term water efficiency initiative will reduce the use of drinking water for irrigation in favour of alternative water sources."
Kay Fraser, Lake Macquarie City Council Mayor

“It will also ensure we can keep our sporting fields, gardens and other public spaces green, which is important for the amenity and wellbeing of our community,” said Cr Fraser.

Now in the design and investigations phase, Hunter Water anticipates starting construction late next year with recycled water supplied from the scheme in early 2024.

The Lake Macquarie recycled water irrigation project builds on the March announcement that Hunter Water, the Newcastle Jockey Club and City of Newcastle signed a three-party

Memorandum of Understanding to further explore and investigate capturing stormwater to irrigate the Newcastle Racecourse and nearby sporting fields.

Project investigation area


For more information on how we are continuing to make recycled water available to irrigate parks, gardens, sporting fields and many other public spaces.