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Plans For NEWater

Is it safe to use NEWater to supplement our water supply?

NEWater is the high grade water produced after treated used water has been further purified using a 3-step process involving advanced membrane technologies like Microfiltration, Reverse Osmosis, and the final disinfection of the product water using ultraviolet light.

This multiple-barrier membrane treatment process has enabled PUB to produce consistently good quality NEWater.

With its consistently good quality and reliability in production, NEWater is put to greater use in terms of being a source of non-potable water and for indirect potable use by blending it with reservoir water.

Non-Potable Uses of NEWater

Since 2003, NEWater has been used mainly for industrial and air-con cooling purposes at wafer fabrication parks, industrial estates and commercial buildings, freeing up large amounts of potable water for other uses. This is important as the non-domestic sector currently accounts for 55% of our water demand and this could increase to 70% by 2060.

There are four NEWater plants in Singapore, and NEWater can meet 30% of Singapore’s total water demand. The plan is to expand NEWater capacity so that it meets up to 55% of our demand by 2060.

Indirect Potable Usage

NEWater could also be used for indirect potable use by blending with reservoir water . This is nothing new. For over 20 years, several cities in the United States have mixed reclaimed water with reservoir water to supply households. Some of these places include Orange County, outside Los Angeles, Phoenix, Arizona and Fairfax County, north Virginia. In fact, many cities along major rivers in the world like River Rhine, Mississippi River, Yangtze River and Mekong River have also been practicing unplanned indirect potable use of reclaimed water, with upstream water users discharging treated used water into a water source that serves as a water supply for a downstream user.

In Singapore, NEWater is also used to top up our reservoirs during dry months. A small amount, on average up to about 2.5% of total daily water consumption, of NEWater is introduced into our reservoirs where it is blended with the raw water before undergoing conventional treatment at the waterworks for supply to the public.

Last updated on 11 Mar 2014