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Water restrictions and trigger levels - LEVEL 2 RESTRICTIONS ARE NOW IN FORCE

Water restrictions

LEVEL 2 HIGH WATER RESTRICTIONS are now in force. 

Level 2 restrictions commenced Monday 2 September 2019. Water restriction levels are determined based on an assessment of daily customer demand and the storage volume available in our dams.  Predicted weather forecasts and the flow and quality of the rivers are also taken in consideration when implementing water restrictions.  Level 1 Water Restrictions commenced on 15 April 2019.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council adopted revised water restriction trigger levels, and the 2014 Uniform Regional Water Restrictions, at the Ordinary Council Meeting of 20 July 2016. These revised water restriction trigger levels are:

Level Trigger Point (total combined Dam storage levels)
Water Conservation Measures >70%
LEVEL 1 Moderate 70%
LEVEL 2 High 60%
LEVEL 3 Very High 45%
LEVEL 4 Severe 35%
 Emergency  25%

The General Manager has the delegated authority to exercise discretion when imposing water restrictions, giving due consideration to the time of year and prevailing weather conditions. Similarly, the General Manager also has the delegation to exercise discretion when lifting water restrictions, giving due consideration to the potential for pumping from the Hastings River and combined storage levels in Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams.  Refer to Dam Levels and Water Demand.

Water Conservation Measures are encouraged at all times to help maintain water storage volumes. Please refer to Water Saving Tips for ways you can help conserve this important resource.

If you wish to view further information on Port Macquarie-Hastings water supply, please refer to  Council's 2015 Water Supply Policy9MB pdf(PDF, 9MB) which was amended on 4 December 2018.

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will be considered when the total combined storage in Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams falls to 70%:

  • water sprinklers are banned
  • one hand-held hose or drip irrigation system can be used for a maximum of 1 HOUR before 9:00am or after 4:00pm on 'odd or even' dates matching  house number.  Hoses must be fitted with water cut-off triggers or control nozzles.
  • micro-sprays (with nozzles less then 3mm) can be used for a maximum of 15 minutes before 9:00am or after 4:00pm on odd or even dates matching house number
  • washing driveways, paved areas, walls and roofs with hoses is banned:  no chemicals or cleaning products are to be used on driveways, paths or hardstand areas;  brooms or air blowers should be used to remove loose material from driveways, paths and hardstand areas
  • no domestic water use outside the home on the 31st day of the month
  • new turf: an Exemption form for establishing new turf is available online at Exemption from Water Restrictions for New Turf Watering or from Council offices
  • topping up swimming pools: one hand-held hose can be used before 9:00am or after 4:00pm on odd or even dates matching house number
  • car and boat washing (on lawn area) can occur with a bucket and one hand-held hose (for rinsing only) before 9:00am or after 4:00pm on odd or even dates matching house number
  • boat motor flushing can occur for 5 minutes on lawn area only on day of use
  • sporting field irrigation systems can be used from 1:00am to 2:00am Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • public/community gardens: hand-held hoses can be used from 7:00am to 8:00am Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens may use sprinkler systems from 7:30am to 9:30am daily
  • businesses and commercial activities that utilise water for their normal business are exempt (other than plant nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens), e.g. high-pressure water cleaning businesses.  All other businesses must use a hand-held hose (with cut-off trigger or control nozzle) for a maximum of 1 hour before 9am and after 4pm, on ‘odd or even’ date according to property number.  Dust suppression is permitted with reclaimed or tank water only.

will be considered when the total combined storage in Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams falls to 60%:

  • water sprinklers are banned
  • one hand-held hose can be used for a maximum of 30 MINUTES before 9am or after 4pm on odd or even days matching house number
  • hoses must be fitted with water cut-off triggers or control nozzles
  • micro-sprays, with nozzles less then 3mm, and drip irrigation systems can be used for a maximum of 15 minutes before 9am or after 4pm on odd or even days matching house number
  • washing driveways, paved areas, walls and roofs with hoses is banned, however buckets can be used during the above days and times
  • no domestic water use outside the home on the 31st day of the month
  • one hand-held hose can be used to top up swimming pools, during the above days and times only
  • watering-cans and buckets can be used at any time
  • car and boat washing (on lawn area) with a bucket and one hand-held hose (for rinsing only) before 9am or after 4pm on odd or even days matching house number
  • boat motor flushing for 5 minutes on lawn area only on day of use
  • sporting field irrigation systems can only be used from 1am to 1.30am Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • hand-held hoses can be used in public/community gardens from 7am to 7.30am Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • hand-held hoses can be used at nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens between 7.30am and 9.30am per day - dust suppression is permitted with reclaimed water only
  • businesses and commercial activities that utilise water for their normal business are exempt (other than plant nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens), e.g. high-pressure water cleaning businesses.  All other businesses must use a hand-held hose (with cut-off trigger or control nozzle) for a maximum of 30 minutes before 9am and after 4pm, on ‘odd or even’ date according to property number. 

will be considered when the total combined storage in Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams falls to 45%:

  • all outside use of water sprinklers, micro-sprays and fixed hoses is banned
  • one hand-held hose can be used for a maximum of 10 MINUTES after 4:00pm and before 9:00am on odd or even days matching house number
  • no domestic water use outside the home on the 31st day of the month
  • gardens can be watered by bucket or tank water only
  • cars and boats can be washed on grassed areas with a bucket or tank water only
  • sporting fields and public gardens can use reclaimed water only
  • nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens may only water under Council licence.

will be considered when the total combined storage in Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams falls to 35%:

  • all outside use of drinking water including water sprinklers, micro-sprays, fixed and hand-held hoses is banned
  • gardens can be watered with reclaimed water or tank water only
  • sporting fields and public gardens can use reclaimed water only
  • nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens may only water under Council licence.

will be considered when the total combined storage in Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams falls to 25%:

  • as directed by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
  • all outside use of drinking water including water sprinklers, micro-sprays, fixed and hand-held hoses is banned
  • gardens can be watered with reclaimed water or tank water only
  • sporting fields and public gardens can use reclaimed water
  • nurseries, bowling greens and commercial market gardens may only water under Council licence.
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This page was last updated on: 05 September 2019