Water restrictions have been rolled out across the country in recent weeks due to dam storage plummeting below 50% of its capacity. This record drop is the lowest levels the Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains regions have seen in two years. In these past two years alone, water storage has dropped from 95% to 45.7%. To put this into perspective, 85% of the Sydney region relies on rain for the water catchment to fill dams for water supply. It has been estimated that Sydney alone uses an Olympic-sized swimming pool’s worth of water every two minutes. NSW has not received an adequate amount of rainfall in the past few months, with the Bureau of Meteorology stating that during the month of May 2019 alone, rainfall was well below average and temperatures were above average for this time of year.
So what does it mean when water restrictions are in place?
Water restrictions are put into effect to adequately manage and sustain the dam water supply providing for the relevant catchment areas. If and when the water supply dwindles below average, the state government will introduce restrictions starting with Level 1. The Water Minister will deliver a public service announcement during which an official start date for the water restrictions will be put forward. For households, this means that the use of drinking water must be minimised, which includes all washing and watering of vehicles and gardens. The same applies to businesses excluding water parks, firefighting and testing-related activities associated with the emergency services and water used for dust suppression. An application for exemption can be given if you are a non-residential customer and you use water outdoors. This exemption can be applied for online via Sydney Water.
Let’s breakdown the Water Management Plan and what each level means for your household:
Australia is the driest continent on the planet and for this reason, we have permanent water conservation measures in place. This means that the use of sprinklers, sprays, micro sprays, and fixed hoses are not allowed to be left running during the heat of the day, especially during the summer months. Hand-held hoses with trigger nozzles and buckets or watering cans may be used for the watering of lawns, gardens, and vehicle-washing at any time. Trigger nozzles on hoses must be used to help conserve water and avoid any wastage. There are tight restrictions on the cleaning and washing down of hard surfaces such as driveways and pavements unless using a high-pressure registered cleaner.
Sprinklers, sprays, microjet sprays, and fixed hoses are not to be running as well as all hand-held gardening hoses. Drip-irrigation systems and automated watering controlled systems are an exception with limited usage. All hoses must have a trigger nozzle with an instant on-off mechanism and are only allowed to be used outside of 10 am to 4 pm daily. Hosing hard surfaces, vehicle washing and filling and maintaining pools are very much restricted. There is a three-month grace period whereby fines will be exempt for not abiding by these restrictions. From September 2019 fines will officially be in place for Level 1 restricted areas at a price of $220 for individuals and $550 for businesses.
A watering can or bucket are the only methods of watering which is allowed in order to water your garden. This must be done before 10 am and after 4 pm. Sub-surface dripper systems are only to be used for 15 minutes daily before 10 am and after 4 pm. Topping up existing pools or spas can only be carried out for a maximum of 15 minutes per day. Pools and spas are only to be replaced with water due to evaporation. Newly established pools and spas will need to obtain a council permit if they require more than 500 liters. If you are washing your vehicles only do so with a bucket and sponge.
The use of all sprinklers is banned including irrigation systems and sprayers. Hand-held hoses are restricted to 15 minutes per day, per property between 5 pm and 7 pm. No wash down of hard surfaces. Pools can be refilled for 15 minutes of allowed nozzle controlled hoses. Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used. If you are putting a rainwater tank in place a council permit needs to be signed if they are stand-alone and not able to be switched to the treated water supply.
All residential outdoor use of treated/town/council water is banned. No pool top-ups and no irrigation is allowed. No washing of vehicles is permitted however the wiping and cleaning of windows, mirrors and number plates are acceptable for safety reasons. Recycled, greywater and rainwater may be used exclusively whenever needed, however, all rainwater tanks which are not approved by council will need a permit if they are not connected to the town water supply.
This level is in extreme emergency. This includes all bans in Level 4. In addition, all rainwater tanks must be approved by the council if they have not been already. There is a strong restriction on evaporative air conditioners which must only be used in moderation.
Smart Approved WaterMark Seal
The Smart Approved WaterMark is a certification which is accredited to products and services in Australia and Europe that are deemed water efficient. During droughts and water restrictions, choosing products that have the Smart Approved WaterMark seal is essential to give you peace of mind that the products you are using are applicable to the water restriction measures in place. In addition, you can take solace in the fact you are contributing to creating a sustainable planet with reduced water wastage and energy bills.
Rest assured that Hoselink products have the Smart Approved WaterMark Seal attributed to them. Hoselink’s Hose Connector with Flow Control and the Premium Ned Kelly Starter Kit are 100% water efficient, guaranteed never to leak, burst off your hose or waste a drop of water due to the patented bayonet ‘point and twist’ design. This design locks the two connectors from the hose to the nozzle tightly together; so tightly in fact that when the hose is turned on, the pressure of the water has no effect on the connections.
With water restrictions currently in place across much of Australia, Hoselink’s Hose Connector with Flow Control is a must-have accessory for your garden. Whether you are washing your car or watering the garden, the Hose Connector with Flow Control allows you to stop the water flow coming through your hose without having to go back to the tap. All you have to do is switch the lever to the ‘off’ position and the water immediately stops, giving you the opportunity to change watering accessory without returning to the tap. The Hose Connector with Flow Control also gives you the flexibility to toggle the lever up and down, which manipulates the water pressure, essential for controlling your water usage whilst water restrictions are in place.