• Project No 1129
  • Project Name Backwash Return Management Practices
  • Lead Organisation Hunter Water
  • Research Lead UNSW Sydney
  • Main Researcher Keng Han Tng, Greg Leslie, Stuart Khan and Pierre Le-Clech
  • Completion Year 2023

Status: Complete

National Research Priority: Service Delivery

Project Description

The Filter Backwash Recycling Rule (FBRR) has been implemented around the world as best practice, recommending that water treatment systems can adopt continuous recycling to the head of the plant at a target of below 5% of inflow volume with a maximum critical limit of below 10%. However, there is no specific scientific evidence for setting the recycle percentage at 5%.

Water Research Australia’s latest report on Backwash Return Management Practices has studied maximum recycle rates and the appropriate level of treatment that media filters backwash water required for safe operation and compliance with the Water Services Association of Australia’s Health-based Targets for Drinking Water Safety, potentially increasing opportunities for water treatment plants to recycle higher proportions of backwash water for increased water recovery.