Water restrictions

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Level 1 Water Restrictions banner

Water restrictions limit how and when we use drinking water outdoors and help reduce demand when we’re not getting enough rain.

Water restrictions apply to everyone in Sydney including residents and businesses.

The current restrictions began on 1 June 2019 and will be enforceable with fines from 1 September 2019.

What is restricted?

Outdoor Water Use

The following uses of water are not permitted at any time:

  • Use of sprinklers and watering systems
  • Use of unattended hoses
  • Hosing of lawns and gardens between 10am and 4pm
  • Hosing of hard surfaces, paths, driveways.

What is permitted?

Gardening – you can water:

  • before 10am or after 4pm using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle
  • between 10am and 4pm using a watering can or bucket
  • any time with drip irrigation systems
  • any time with watering systems featuring one of these:
    • automated weather adjustment
    • rain sensor
    • soil moisture sensor.

Cleaning – you can:

  • spot clean hard surfaces for health, safety or emergency reasons, using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment.
  • wash vehicles and buildings at any time using a bucket, a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment
  • clean garbage bins and bin wash bays using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment

Pools – you can:

  • top up an existing pool or spa to replace water lost through evaporation

Exclusions, exemptions, fines and further details

For full details about the restrictions visit the Sydney Water website or call 13 20 92.

Exclusions apply for:

  • Sources of water that are not restricted such as bore, recycled, tank water or grey water
  • Uses of water for which there is no practical alternative, such as firefighting

Exemptions are available for business and industries that rely on outdoor water use for critical activities as part of their business. If you need an exemption you will need to apply online.

Fines of $220 for individuals and $550 for businesses may be issued to those who breach the restrictions.

Water drop on leaf

Water Saving Tips

Water is a precious resource, so we shouldn’t waste it. There are many simple things you can do around your home and garden every day to use water efficiently.

Tips to save water

Sydney Water has advice on services to fix leaks and install water efficient devices.