Sydney water restrictions: What do they mean for you?

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

UPDATE: Sydney’s Level Two water restrictions start today, December 10.

The restrictions will impact people in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions, according to The Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey.

“NSW is currently experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record and Sydney is not exempt from the drought. By introducing Level 2 restrictions we will save 78.5 gigalitres of water,” Mrs Pavey said in a statement on Monday.

People’s outdoor water use will be limited, forcing residents to tend to their garden with a watering can or bucket during approved times.

Cars should only be washed with a bucket and sponge, or taken through a commercial car wash. A limit will also be imposed on how long residents can fill up pools and spas per day.

Ms Pavey said the goal is to save as much drinking water as possible, with residents and businesses facing hefty fines if they violate the restrictions.

Sydney will face its toughest water restrictions since the Millennium drought. Source: Getty

How much water can I use under Level Two water restrictions?

The latest restrictions will mean people will only be able to water their gardens with a watering can or bucket between approved times.

Previously under Level One, Sydney Water allowed use of a hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle before 10am and after 4pm.

Cars can only be washed with a bucket or at a commercial car wash.

Pools and spas can only be filled for 15 minutes a day, and only using a trigger nozzle.

The restrictions apply to water supplied to properties that residents can access through taps.

Greywater – water already used in sinks, showers and washing machines – is excluded, as it is collected rainwater and bore water.

Hosing hard surfaces such as paths, driveways, cars, floors and buildings will be banned.

What is the fine for breaching Sydney’s water restrictions?

Anyone found not obeying the restrictions can face a hefty fine.

Residents in breach of Level Two restrictions can cop a fine of $220 while businesses will be forced to pay $550.

How to 'dob in' someone ignoring the restrictions

Ms Pavey has urged anyone who is aware of someone not adhering to the rules to speak up.

Residents are able to report someone by notifying Sydney Water via their website.

Sydney Water offers four “simple” options to report if residents are “concerned about the potential misuse of water”.

‘Strictest’ water restrictions in over a decade

The Level 2 restrictions will be the toughest Sydney has seen in over a decade, prompted by the ongoing drought that continues to cripple the state’s water levels.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the changes on November 21.

“Usually, we would expect to have level-two water restrictions come into effect when dam levels reached 40 per cent. But given the rapid rate of decline of our dam levels (currently 46 per cent), we have decided to enact the next level of restrictions sooner than planned,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

“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.”

It was only in June that Sydney was introduced to Level One restrictions.

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