Recycled water is highly treated wastewater that has been cleaned and disinfected through the sewage treatment process.

Mr Brennan said it would take two years to fully recommission the scheme, which was put into “care and maintenance mode” in 2013.

“So we have two years to work through, two wet seasons to come through, so it’ll be two years before we’d be putting, we’d look to put recycled water into Wivenhoe,” he said.

South-east Queensland’s dams are currently 54.9 per cent of capacity.

As part of the SEQ Drought Response Plan, Seqwater considers the full restart of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme when the water grid’s dam levels fall below 60 per cent.

The water grid would have to hit 40 per cent before Seqwater asked the Water Minister to sign off on adding recycling water to the drinking supply.

However, acting Water Minister Steven Miles said no decision had been made on whether recycled water would be added to south-east Queensland’s drinking supply.

“It’s frankly a series of hypotheticals,” Mr Miles said, following questioning from opposition water spokeswoman Deb Frecklington during estimates hearings.

“What Seqwater has outlined is that they are taking the very reasonable step, given the significant lead time, of commissioning equipment.

“They are delaying those elements of that commissioning that would require significant investment until the first of those hypotheticals is satisfied, which again is unlikely, given the advice of the Bureau [of Meteorology].

“And I understand the focus of effort is in identifying other current customers who could use the purified water, just as Swanbank Power Station does, so that they can be provided with the water in the first instance, therefore reducing the draw down on the drinking water supply.”

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