In Australia - Great idea, solve ocean pollution and water supply problems..
Recycling plan floated in bid to phase out ocean sewage outfalls
OCEAN sewage outfalls would become a thing of the past by 2020 under a federal Opposition plan embracing water recycling.
And the commonwealth would stand ready to enforce the ban on the states, punishing those in breach of proposed new "clean coast" laws.
Opposition urban water spokesman Greg Hunt yesterday called for a water recycling "revolution" to stem the annual flow of 1800 billion litres of treated sewage beyond the nation's beaches.
"The dumping of this treated sewage off our coasts is a 19th-century practice in the 21st century. I would like to see an end to ocean outfalls around Australia by 2020," he said.
His comments follow Tuesday's release of a national report card on urban water utilities that showed many of those in smaller centres were still discharging only semi-treated water.
Some relied on sewage treatment plants that failed environmental tests.
But the same report card also showed rates of water recycling, viewed as an alternative to ocean discharges, had increased.
The country's largest water utilities boosted their recycling programs in 2006-07 by almost a third compared with the year before.
Mr Hunt's speech yesterday to the Australian Water Summit in Sydney championing water recycling ups the ante for Labor. The Rudd Government has committed to reusing 30 per cent of waste water by 2015.
But Mr Hunt said Labor had still not shaken its preference for desalination plants