There has been a lot of talk about the new water restrictions, but it is a little bit difficult to find out what the actual restrictions are. For instance, when does a child’s water play toy, that is less than 500 liters, become a ‘sprinkler’.
Are we allowed to use a hose, or aren’t we?
Did you know that indoor water fountains cannot be refilled, nor can water be used for only aesthetic purposes whether inside or outside?
The actual rules are two pages long, and yet honestly I still wish there was more detail. However, this is what we have. It is legal to use a hose in certain circumstances, for instance:
- One exclusion states that spot cleaning with a hose of paths, driveways, concrete and other hard surfaces when cleaning with water is necessary for reasons (readily identifiable to an authorised person) of a safety, health, or emergency incident. For any use of water under this category of exclusion the hose must be fitted with a trigger nozzle unless it is used to supply high pressure water cleaning equipment;
- There is another exclusion for the use a hand-held hose with trigger nozzle or pressure cleaning equipment for rinsing vessels immediately after being used in salt water, to a maximum of 10 minutes per vessel
- There is also an exception for topping up water in pools to replace water lost through normal use conditions including evaporation using a bucket or hand-held hose with trigger nozzle, to a maximum of 15 minutes per day using a hand-held hose.
The rule in relation to hoses specifically includes any children’s play toy that has a hose attached, for instance a jumping castle or slide with a hose attached. The way the rule is drafted, strictly speaking you could be fined for putting Sydney Water drinking water into a child’s toy that could have a hose connected, even if you don’t connect the hose. It is however legal to use a child’s water toy that does not have a hose connection, and that holds less than 500 liters.
The water that these rules apply to is apply to all users of water supplied by Sydney Water Corporation or sourced from a water main owned by Sydney Water Corporation or supplied by a person licenced under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006. So ‘grey’ water or rain water that you collect is not included, but your collected rain water is included if that tank has been filled from Sydney Water’s water. So for instance if you have paid for a water delivery, then probably all of the water in your tank (including any rain water) cannot be used for these purposes.
It is important to know what the actual restrictions are, rather than listen to everyone’s summary of them. You can read more about the gazetted restrictions here.