While we have had better rainfall recently, the last 15 months up to September has been the driest on record for Orange and the Central West leading to Orange City Council announcing that the water storage level is expected to drop to 50% and prompting them to put in place Level 3 water restrictions from 1 December 2018.
So, what are the Level 3 restrictions:
Well, one of the key differences between level two and level three water restrictions is that the use of sprinklers and hand-held hoses is not permitted. Other restrictions are as follows:
Gardens & Lawns
Garden beds, trees, shrubs and lawns may be watered between 6 am and 9 am and between 6 pm and 9 pm every second day under the odds and evens system using microsprays, drip systems and soaker hoses only. The use of hand held hoses and garden sprinklers is not permitted.
Watering of new turf is allowed for one week after laying, then level 3 restrictions will apply.
Garden Water Features
Garden water features can be filled and topped up.
Cars & Other Vehicles
Washing vehicles at home is allowed on any day between 9 am and 12 noon. Vehicles must be washed on the lawn using only a bucket.
Swimming Pools & Outside Spas
The first fill of a pool and topping up of swimming pools and external spas is allowed any day between 7 am and 9 am and between 6 pm and 8 pm provided pool covers are used.
Bore water, Rainwater and Water from Other Sources
Homeowners are encouraged to use all water conservatively, however the restrictions do not apply to rainwater and bore water. If the water source (e.g. a household tank) is topped up from Council’s water supply system, these level 3 restrictions do apply.
Level 3 restrictions also apply to the purple pipe (Dual Water) system where connected.
WATER SAVING TIPS
What can you do to save water?
The internet is a great place to find tips on saving water in and around the home, a quick google search will find you loads of sites that have really helpful tips. Here are some great tips that are easy to implement without too much hassle and will make a difference:
Swap to a water efficient shower head.
Save water and energy by reducing your shower time to 4 minutes.
Install a dual flush toilet which can save up to 80 litres of water per day.
Check your toilet for water leaks and reduce water waste by using the half flush.
Brush your teeth with the tap off.
In the shower, don’t waste the cold water as you wait for it to heat. Catch it in a bucket and use it to water your pot plants and garden. You could save up to 10 litres of water for every minute the water takes to heat up.
Reduce water wastage with water efficient taps and flow controlled aerators.
Plug the sink or use a bowl to wash your veggies.
Pre-rinsing your dishes wastes water. Instead, scrape the excess food into the bin before loading the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing dishes can double your water use!
Fill your dishwasher before switching it on and try using the Eco setting.
Make the switch to a front loading washing machine which are more water efficient that a top loader.
Water your plants with grey water. A grey water system in a 4 person house can provide around 40,000 litres of water per year to use on your garden.
Save 50 litres of water by reducing your washing by 1 load per week.
Comply with the water restrictions put in place by your local council.
Install a rainwater tank.
Choose the right lawn and water-wise plants suitable for your climate.
Water your plants with grey water or water collected from the shower or kitchen sink.
Mulch your garden to keep moisture in.
Use a broom or blower and not the hose.
If you have a pool, use a cover to reduce the amount of water lost by evaporation.
Odds & Evens System Explained
This means that if the street number of your property is odd you can water in accordance with the restrictions on odd days. If your property has an even number, you can water in accordance with the restrictions on even days.
If your property has a range of street numbers, then it should be treated as odd or even as per the first number in the range eg if your property is 12-15 Smith Street then you can water on even days in accordance with the restrictions.
If your property has no street number, then it should be treated as an even property eg if your property is “Tara” then you can water on even days in accordance with the restrictions.