What you need to know about Sydney’s new water restrictions


What you need to know about Sydney’s new water restrictions
Sydney is set to experience the strictest water rules in a decade as level two restrictions come into effect on Tuesday.

With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a hot summer without significant rainfall, Sydney residents are urged to do their part to minimise the city’s water usage.

Restrictions will be enforced in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra. They apply to all residents and businesses in these areas.

Tough fines will apply to those who do not follow the restrictions – $220 for individuals and $550 for businesses.

Under level two restrictions:

  • Only a watering can or bucket can be used to water your garden, and only before 10am and after 4pm.
  • Drip irrigation or smart watering systems can only be used for a maximum of 15 minutes a day per watering zone, before 10am and after 4pm.
  • Existing pools or spas can only be topped up using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering can or bucket for a maximum of 15 minutes per day. This is only to replace water lost through evaporation, not to replace water deliberately removed from the pool.
  • Vehicles can only be washed with a bucket and sponge.
  • A permit is needed to fill new or renovated pools and spas that hold more than 500 litres.

The use of recycled water, grey water, rain water, bore water and river water is permitted, although many of these water sources have other controls on how they can be used.

The tough new restrictions come amid ongoing drought conditions, which have resulted in dam levels in Sydney reaching the lowest levels seen in a decade.

Level two water restrictions usually come in when dam levels reach 40 per cent, however NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the next level of restrictions are being enacted “sooner than planned” given the “rapid rate of decline of our dam levels”.

“We’re experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record and we expect introducing level two restrictions to save 78.5 gigalitres of water per year,” she said in a statement.


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