BILLIONS of litres of wastewater could be recycled by building a link from Burwood Beach waste treatment plant to Bayswater power station, an independent water analyst believes.
Joe Taranto says the scheme would significantly reduce the drain on freshwater sources presently used to cool the power station.
"This substitution would allow for the existing freshwater sources, presently used for cooling, to be water banked or drawn into the Hunter Bayswater Recycled Water Scheme to be treated to a drinking standard before entering Hunter Water's pipeline infrastructure," Mr Taranto said.
"This unique solution for the Lower Hunter Water Plan will provide the water needs for more customers, delivering up to 16,425 megalitres per annum and will last 50 to 100 years," Mr Taranto said.
He is seeking funding to do a preliminary cost analysis of a 22-kilometre section of subsea pipeline to transfer 45 megalitres a day of treated water from Burwood treatment plant to Ironbark Creek.
"This funding will be money well spent," Mr Taranto said.
"It is inevitable that for Hunter Water to increase water recycling in large volumes in the future, that this is the only viable route to obtain that water increase," he said.
Mr Taranto has pitched the scheme to federal Environment and Water Minister Greg Hunt.
Mr Hunt commended the proposal, but said it fell within the realm of the NSW Metropolitan Water Directorate.
A directorate spokesman said Mr Taranto's proposal had been considered in the development of the Lower Hunter Water Plan, which is being developed to provide improved drought security for the Lower Hunter.
"Community feedback and engagement has been essential to the development of the plan and residents, including Mr Taranto, had their chance to provide input into the overall plan," the spokesman said.
"Consideration was given to Mr Taranto's recommendations, though his proposal for a large-scale water recycling scheme is not a cost-effective option for the Hunter community or NSW taxpayer."
A Hunter Water spokesman said it had not been formally approached about the proposed scheme, however, like other proposals, it would need to be assessed on its merits.
Hunter Water manages the Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme, which will produce more than 3 billion litres of recycled water from Burwood Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The federal government contributed $10 million towards the $70 million project.