Greywater reuse

Greywater is the term used to describe the wastewater generated from bathrooms, laundries and kitchens, but does not include toilet waste water. The opportunity exists for greywater to be reused to irrigate gardens. Considering the dry environment in many parts of Western Australia, it is important that water is used efficiently and conserved whenever possible. Most households won’t produce enough greywater to supply their entire garden needs, however reusing greywater should make a significant contribution to water conservation.

To encourage the reuse of greywater, the City is currently offering a rebate scheme which will refund the City’s approval fees under the Health (Treatment of Sewage and Disposal of Effluent and Liquid Waste) Regulations 1974, to install and operate a Greywater System.

Installing a greywater system

The Code of Practice for the Reuse of Greywater in Western Australia (available on the Health Department website) outlines acceptable greywater reuse practices to ensure the conservation of ground and surface supplies and the protection of health standards. The installation and operation of all greywater systems must comply with the code. The installation of a greywater system also requires local government approval. For greywater reuse systems where there are more than ten occupants in a building, approval from the Chief Health Officer is required.

Please note that the operation and maintenance of the greywater system is the responsibility of the householder.

For the steps involved in obtaining approval for a greywater reuse system, please refer to our Reusing Household Greywater Factsheet.

Applications requirements

Lodging an application

You can lodge an application to install a greywater reuse system:

By completing the application form and submitting it:

  • In person by visiting the City of Joondalup Administration Centre
  • By Post to the City at PO Box 21, Joondalup WA 6919

Septic tanks – waste water disposal, installation and decommissioning

Septic tank systems provide a method of on-site wastewater disposal that can be used to allow development of land where deep sewerage is not available.

Most of the City’s suburbs are now connected to the deep sewerage system. Older sections of Mullaloo, Burns Beach, Sorrento as well as parts of Marmion and Duncraig, were developed before deep sewerage was available. Those suburbs and properties utilised septic tank systems for wastewater disposal. Most of these suburbs have since been provided with deep sewerage as part of the Water Corporation’s Sewerage Infill Program, however it is possible that old septic tanks may still be in the ground.

In the area of Kingsley between Lake Goollelal and Wanneroo Road and a very small pocket of properties located in Joondalup, deep sewerage is still not available and the properties in those areas use septic tanks or alternative on-site effluent disposal methods such as Aerobic Treatment Units for wastewater.

Buildings, foundations and most structures are not permitted within 1.2m of septic tanks or 1.8m from effluent soak wells and leach drains. Areas above septic tank systems should not be paved unless access to the system is still available without requiring the removal of paving. Septic tank systems can utilise a large area of a property that cannot be built on. This restriction can prevent owners of houses using septic tanks systems from installing pools, retaining walls, gazebo’s and granny flats on their property. Once deep sewerage is available to a property, owners may connect to the sewer and decommission their septic tanks and waste water system.

Installing a septic tank apparatus

The installation of a Septic Tank Apparatus must comply with the Health (Treatment of Sewage and Disposal of Effluent and Liquid Waste) Regulations 1974.

For the steps involved in obtaining approval for a septic tank system, please refer to the Septic tank information sheet or contact an Environmental Health Officer.

Decommissioning your septic system

Notification to the City should be provided, once a septic apparatus has been decommissioned, by completing and submitting a decommissioning form together with a copy of the liquid waste receipt as evidence of the pumping out of the system.

The form must indicate the number of septic tanks and soak wells or leach drains that were removed.

A septic system and waste water system must be decommissioned within 60 days of a change of ownership, following connection to sewer.

Lodging a decommissioning form

You can lodge a decommissioning form online (preferred): 

Or by completing the decommissioning form and submitting it:

  • In person by visiting the City of Joondalup Administration Centre, 90 Boas Avenue, Joondalup.
  • By Post to the City at PO Box 21, Joondalup WA 6919.

Reducing waste

Avoid – prevent waste in the first instance

  • Maintain and repair items rather than disposing of them
  • Grow your own fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts at home
  • Purchase quality products that have no or minimal packaging.

Reduce – to produce less waste

  • Refuse single plastic e.g. cups and straws
  • Purchase in bulk where possible
  • Say no to junk mail
  • Only purchase what you need.

Reuse – use the same item more than once

  • Take your own reusable shopping and produce bags to the shops
  • Consider hosting a garage sale
  • Find creative ways to repurpose waste for practical purposes, art projects or gifts
  • Consider purchasing eco-friendly products made from recycled materials
  • Opt for reusable rather than disposable products, such as keep cups instead of disposable coffee cups, carry your own utensils to avoid single use knives, forks and spoons
  • Take reusable items to the REUSE shop at Tamala Park.

Recycle – converting waste materials into new materials and objects

  • Recycle all paper, cardboard, milk and juice cartons, glass bottles and jars, aluminium and steel cans, plastic bottles and containers in the yellow lid recycling bin
  • Green waste from the lime green lid is turned into compost
  • Place food or garden waste in a compost or worm farm at home
  • Instead of putting soft plastic in the red lid bin, take it to a REDcycle location
  • Take eligible containers to a Containers for Change drop off point
  • Clean and undamaged clothes can be donated to a local charity shop
  • Local schools can participate in a waste education program funded by the City of Joondalup, please visit this page or call 9400 4077 for further information.

Please refer to the A-Z Waste Disposal Guide to ensure you are sorting your waste correctly.

Saving water

Everyone can do their bit to reduce water use in the home and garden to minimise environmental impacts. Follow these simple tips to save water in your home and garden:

  • Turn taps off tightly so they don’t drip
  • Fix leaking toilets, taps and showerheads
  • Install waterwise showerheads, mixer basin taps and dual flush toilets
  • Install flow restrictors in taps
  • Keep showers to four minutes or less
  • Choose local native plants that are adapted your garden’s soil type and climate
  • Add mulch to your garden to reduce water loss through evaporation from the soil surface
  • Greywater and rainwater are sustainable water sources that can be used to substitute scheme and ground (bore) water. Find out about installing a greywater system and rainwater tanks
  • Consider drip irrigation systems which deliver water directly to the root systems so there is minimal water loss
  • Use of a swimming pool cover reduces evaporation by up to 97 per cent and helps keep your pool warmer and cleaner.

The State Government enforces restrictions for garden irrigation. Remember to stick to your designated watering days and don’t forget the Winter Sprinkler Ban is in force from 1 June to 31 August.

Waterwise programs

For further information on saving water in the home and garden including waterwise plants, waterwise specialists and waterwise offers visit the Water Corporation. If you are a business, developer or commercial office consider participating in one of Water Corporation’s Waterwise programs.


Reducing energy use

Everyone can do their bit to reduce energy use and contribute to a cleaner, greener environment. Follow these simple tips to save energy in your home:

  • Heat and cool only the rooms you are using and close doors to other rooms
  • Ensure that your house has adequate insulation in the ceilings and walls to maximise efficiency of heating and cooling systems
  • Open windows in summer to let the afternoon sea breeze cool the house
  • Remember to set reverse cycle air conditioner thermostats to 18° – 21°C in winter and 24° – 27°C in summer.
  • Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot water
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances (especially fridges and freezers) with high Energy Star Ratings
  • Adjust your fridge temperature to between 3°C and 5°C and your freezer temperature to between -15°C and -18°C
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Choose energy efficient lighting globes such as compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or light emitting diodes (LEDs)
  • Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use, otherwise they may still be using power in standby mode
  • Consider installing renewable energy such as photovoltaic cells on your home.

The City has partnered with the ClimateClever Program to encourage households and schools to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on utility bills using a suite of online tools and an App which can now be accessed for free. Further information can be found on the ClimateClever website.

To find out how you can save energy in your home, complete the DIY Home Energy Audit.

For additional information, visit the following websites:

  • Synergy: Energy Saving Tips
  • Australian Government: Energy Star Ratings
  • Australian Government: Your Energy Savings
  • Department of the Environment and Energy: Energy Efficiency

Energy and climate management

Future climate change could have a significant impact on the City and its community. Responding effectively to climate change requires both reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and being ready to adapt to climate change impacts as they occur (adaptation).

The City of Joondalup Climate Change Strategy 2014-2019 provides strategic guidance to the City’s climate change management activities including both mitigation and adaptation.

The Strategy identifies a number of projects to be implemented across the following six key focus areas:

  • Infrastructure and assets
  • Parks and reserves
  • Land use planning and development
  • Natural environment
  • Corporate responsibility and good governance
  • Community wellbeing.

Water management in the City

Water is a precious resource and the City relies heavily on both scheme and groundwater resources in its operations and activities.

The City is committed to sustainable management of its water use. The City Water Plan 2016 – 2021 provides a strategic approach to improving water conservation and water quality management within the City.

The Plan identifies 34 projects that are implemented across the following eight key focus areas:

  • Water monitoring and reporting
  • Management of wetlands and public open spaces
  • Water sensitive urban design
  • Contracts and purchasing
  • Staff education and participation
  • Community education and participation
  • Partnership and policy.

Waterwise Council

The City has been recognised as a Gold Waterwise Council for its outstanding water saving strategies and significant progress towards best practise water efficiency within its operations.

The Craigie Leisure Centre is recognised as a Waterwise Aquatic Centre due to the best practice approach that is taken to managing water use within the facility.

Waste education

Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover

There are a couple of waste education opportunities for schools which are curriculum aligned and delivered by professional educators. Schools can access any of these programs:

  • The City of Joondalup’s sponsored Recycling Educator, Suez, deliver The Recoverables program. The Recoverables program is:
    • Free and presented by an experienced educator
    • Varies in duration depending on the lesson/s selected by the school
    • Adaptable for any age group from pre-school to Year 6
    • Suitable for groups of up to 35 students
    • Suez’s Waste Education Officer will visit schools and conduct the lesson/s in which the school has selected. For further information or to make a booking, contact the Suez Waste Education Officer on 0448 034 260.
  • The Waste Authority also offer the WasteSorted schools program.

Student outcomes

Linked to geography and science content descriptors and the sustainability cross curriculum priority in the Australian Curriculum. Key components covered include:

  • The importance of waste minimisation
  • What it means to: Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover
  • What happens to recyclables once collected
  • The importance of protecting the environment through changes in our everyday activities.

There are many other ways in which schools can be involved:

Keep up to date on what the City has available for schools by subscribing to the School Connections Newsletter.

For more information about what can go into your kerbside bins, please refer to the Waste Guide 2022-23 or the Waste Disposal Guide. Feel free to get in touch with the City’s Waste Education Officer on 9400 4077 if you would like any more information.