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Sydney Water Restrictions 2019: Do you know what to do?

2019-06-05 00:15:10

With Greater Sydney in drought, it’s time for us all to play our part and minimise our impact on Sydney’s water supply.

From the 1st of June, 2019, Level 1 water restrictions were implemented as set by the Metropolitan Water Plan. These restrictions apply to everyone in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and the Illawarra. This includes both residents and businesses.

Why are the restrictions in place?

Restrictions have arrived because Sydney’s dam levels have dropped from 95% to 53%*. It’s important to understand what water restrictions mean and what you can, and cannot do during this time because the restrictions will be policed.

What do level 1 water restrictions mean for me?

Sydney Water has created clear instructions. Below is a summary:

When watering your gardens and lawns, here is what you CAN do:

  • use a watering can or bucket to water your lawns and gardens
  • use a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle before 10 am or after 4 pm to water lawns and gardens
  • water your garden with drip irrigation systems
  • use watering systems if they have one or more of these features: automated weather adjustment, rain sensor, soil moisture sensor

Here is what you CAN’T do:

  • use standard sprinklers and watering systems at any time
  • leave hoses and taps running unattended

When cleaning vehicles and buildings, here is what you CAN do:

  • use a bucket, or a trigger nozzle hose or high-pressure cleaning equipment to wash vehicles and buildings
  • clean your garbage bins using a hose with a trigger nozzle or use high-pressure cleaning equipment
  • flush boat engines
  • clean bilges and essential safety components on boat trailers (such as brakes and wheels) with a hose that has a trigger nozzle attached or use high-pressure cleaning equipment

Here is what you CAN’T do:

  • wash vehicles and buildings with a hose that isn’t fitted with a trigger nozzle or high-pressure cleaning equipment
  • leave hoses and taps running unattended

When filling pools & spas, here is what you CAN do:

  • top up your existing pool or spa if it has lost water through evaporation
  • fill a new or renovated pool without a permit if the pool capacity is less than10,000 litres

Here is what you CAN’T do:

  • fill a new or renovated pool or spa with that has a capacity greater than 10,000 litres. There may be exemptions if you have a pool cover and permit from your pool supplier

When cleaning pathways and driveways, here is what you CAN do:

  • if you have health, safety or emergency reasons for cleaning a hard surface, you may spot clean the surface using high-pressure cleaning equipment or a hose with a trigger nozzle

Here is what you CAN’T do:

  • general cleaning of paths, driveways and paved areas with a hose
  • leave hoses and taps running unattended

Are there any exclusions?

There are water types that are excluded from the restrictions. These include recycled water, greywater (from bathrooms & laundries), rainwater, bore water and river water.

15 Water Saving tips

In and around your home there are easy things you can do to help save water and minimise wastage.

Here are our top 15 tips:

  1. If you have the option, use the half flush when flushing the toilet
  2. Water your garden before 10 am or after 4 pm to minimise evaporation
  3. Reduce your shower time. Although it’s cold, and tempting to enjoy a long hot shower, try to be out within 4 minutes.
  4. Use trigger nozzles on all hoses
  5. Make sure your dishwasher or washing machine is full before running a load
  6. Scrape excess food scraps from your plates into the bin rather than rinsing
  7. Use greywater from your bathroom or laundry to water your garden or wash your car
  8. Park your car on your grass before washing it. That way the run-off water feeds your grass
  9. Use plugs! Get out of the habit of running taps when you shave, brush teeth, wash vegetables or wash your face
  10. Use a cover on your pool to stop evaporation
  11. Use brooms, rakes or blowers on your driveways and paths rather than hosing them down
  12. Install a rainwater tank
  13. Water your plants at the roots, to avoid the water evaporating from the leaves
  14. Check all taps, toilets, and pipes for leaks and repair if necessary
  15. Use a bucket to capture the shower water while you wait for it to heat up. Then re-use it.

Together we can make a difference

Do you have any more water-saving tips? Share them on the Watermark Plumbing Facebook Page. 

Need assistance with any water leak checks or repairs? Call a licensed plumber.

If we all embrace the water restriction rules it will make a big difference across Sydney. They have even given us a three month grace period before fines apply. So there’s no excuse!

Get water-wise and start saving Sydney’s precious supply.

* Figures are correct at the time of publication.