Friday, October 5, 2007

Water Restrictions

In my last post, I mentioned water restrictions. Due to the drought, water conservation is a major issue in Australia and every state has their own set of restrictions. Some are highly detailed, like the 34 page PDF from the state of Queensland.

Comparing the restrictions here to what I have at home in the states is an apples to oranges comparison, but I've done it anyway. I couldn't find the information for my hometown or for the closest city, but I did find restrictions for a neighbouring town.

Restrictions for New South Wales:

  • Hand-held hosing of lawns and gardens and drip irrigation is now allowed only on Wednesdays and Sundays before 10 am and after 4 pm
  • No other watering systems or sprinklers are to be used at any time
  • A permit from Sydney Water is required to fill new or renovated pools bigger than 10,000 litres
  • No hosing of hard surfaces including vehicles at any time
  • No hoses or taps to be left running unattended, except when filling pools or containers
  • Fire hoses must only be used for fire fighting purposes – not for cleaning.
  • Recycled water, bore water and water used for testing fire systems, fire fighting and related activities are excluded from restrictions.
A fine of $220 applies for all breaches of Level 3 restrictions by individuals. The Water Restrictions Patrol is carrying out random audits to ensure compliance with the new exemption conditions.
Corporations now face a fine of $550 for each breach. Fines for water theft have risen to $2,200.
The following are still permitted at any time:
  • Using a bucket or watering can to wash and rinse vehicles or water lawns and gardens.
  • Topping up any existing swimming pool.
  • Filling a pool less than 10,000L capacity.
  • Using water from a rainwater tank, as long as it is not connected to or topped up from Sydney Water mains.
  • Using a hose with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning device to clean boat bilges and boat trailer brakes and wheels.
  • Using a hose to flush boat engines.
  • Cleaning garbage bins using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or with an on/off switch.
  • Cleaning garbage bins should be done within an official bin wash area or on grass.

Restrictions for Queensland:

  • No watering of established lawns with town water.
  • Watering of established gardens is allowed 3 days a week between 4 and 7 pm only. (The day of week depends on your house number). The watering must be done with a bucket, watering can or other approved device and not from a hand held hose (unless you’ve been given a concession due to age, medical reasons, etc).
  • Watering of newly established lawns and gardens is allowed by hand held hose for 1 hour on the day of establishment and for 1 hour between 4 am and 7 am or 4 pm and 7 pm for 14 days after the date of establishment (receipt of installation is required).
  • New and renovated pools and spas require approval for filling with town water.
  • You may top up an existing pool or spa between 4 pm and 7 pm on your 3 watering days per week if one of the conditions below applies:
    1. The premises has a rainwater tank or downpipe rainwater diverter installed and connected to the pool.
    2. All available water from the rainwater tank or downpipe rainwater diverter is used to top up the pool or spa prior to using town water.
    3. The premises also complies with three of the following four measures.
      1. A swimming pool or spa cover is used to cover the pool or spa when not in use.
      2. All showerheads, kitchen basin taps and bathroom basin taps on the premises are water efficient.
      3. All toilets on the premises are water efficient.
      4. Only water efficient washing machines are used on the premises.
  • Town water is not to be used for play pools water toys.
  • Town water is not to be used for outdoor showers.
  • Town water is not to be used for cleaning vehicles (including boats and caravans) except:
    1. Where water is used from a bucket filled directly from a tap to:
      1. Clean only vehicle mirrors, vehicle lights, glass and number plates to maintain safe operation and satisfy number plate visibility requirements; or
      2. Clean such other parts of a vehicle as required to comply with statutory or regulatory obligations; or
      3. Spot clean the body of a vehicle to remove potentially paint damaging marks; or
      4. To flush an inboard or outboard motor or vehicle brakes to prevent corrosion and maintain safe operation
  • General outdoor cleaning of materials and equipment is only allowed when it is needed to prevent or otherwise address a material health or safety risk.

Restrictions for my neighbouring town in the US:

  • Lawn watering is limited to two days per week with no watering on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Hand held hoses may be used for flower and vegetable gardens without hour or day restrictions.

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