What the levels mean

The six-level system of conservation measures under the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB) are based on dam levels, flows in streams and bore levels for all seven water supply schemes operated by Tamworth Regional Council.

The water rules system has been designed to clearly set out the triggers or prompts for certain water use levels and restrictions so that residents are more aware of what water rules come into force for certain local conditions. The same levels of restrictions are proposed to apply to all water supply areas but the trigger points for each level will vary depending on each supply.

Information on what each of the levels mean is provided below:

Permanent

  • Permanent Water Conservation Measures are always in place when there are no actual water restrictions.
  • Use of sprinklers, sprays, microsprays and fixed hoses is not allowed during the heat of the day, which means watering must take place between 4pm to 9am Eastern Standard Time and 6pm to 8am Daylight Saving Time. 
  • Hand-held hoses with trigger nozzles, and buckets or watering cans, may used for watering of lawns, gardens and vehicle-washing at any time. 
  • Trigger nozzles must be used on all hoses to help conserve supplies and avoid waste.
  • No washdown of hard surfaces unless using a high-pressure cleaner.

Council will consider moving to Permanent Water Conservation Measures when the Chaffey Dam level is at 50%, as advised by the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB).

Level 1

  • Sprinklers, sprays, microjet sprays and fixed hoses are allowed for two hours only per day, 5pm to 7pm Eastern Standard Time or 6pm to 8pm Daylight Saving Time. 
  • Hand-held hoses can be used between 4pm to 9am Eastern Standard Time or 6pm and 8am Daylight Saving Time.
  • No washdown of hard surfaces unless using a high-pressure cleaner.
  • Vehicles can be washed any time if using a high-pressure cleaner.
  • Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used. Rainwater tanks can only be approved by Council and a sign issued if they are stand-alone and not able to be switched to the treated supply.
  • Pools can be filled and topped up.

Council will consider moving to Level 1 Water Restrictions when the Chaffey Dam level is at 40%, as advised by the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB).

Level 2

  • Sprinklers, sprays, microjet sprays and fixed hoses cannot be used.
  • Hand-held hoses and sub-surface dripper systems can be used for two hours only per day from 5pm to 7pm Eastern Standard Time or 6pm to 8pm Daylight Saving Time.
  • Vehicles can only be washed with a hand-held hose, with a trigger nozzle attached, between 5pm to 7pm Eastern Standard Time or 6pm to 8pm Daylight Saving Time, but a bucket can be used any time.
  • No washdown of hard surfaces unless using a high-pressure cleaner.
  • Pools can be filled and topped up.
  • Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used. Rainwater tanks can only be approved by Council and a sign issued if they are stand-alone and not able to be switched to the treated supply.

Council will consider moving to Level 2 Water Restrictions when the Chaffey Dam level is at 35%, as advised by the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB).

Level 3

  • All use of sprinklers is banned – including sprinklers, sprays, microjet sprays, fixed hoses and subsurface dripper systems.
  • Handheld hoses for 15 minutes only per property within the two hour window of 5pm to 7pm Eastern Standard Time or 6pm to 8pm Daylight Saving Time.
  • No washdown of hard surfaces outdoors, including pressure cleaners.
  • Pools can be filled during 15 minutes of allowed hose time.
  • Irrigation of Council’s Category 1 and 2 parks, gardens, reserves and playing fields continues in accordance with the Drought Management Plan.
  • All previously issued Water Management Plans are now inactive.
  • Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used. Rainwater tanks can only be approved by Council and a sign issued if they are stand-alone and not able to be switched to the treated supply.
  • Buckets and watering cans can be used within the two hour window without limitation.

Council will consider moving to Level 3 Water Restrictions when the Chaffey Dam level is at 30%, as advised by the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB).

Level 4

  • All residential outdoor use of treated / town / Council water is now banned.
  • Council will cease to irrigate public parks, gardens, roundabouts and sporting facilities with treated water, but bore / groundwater can continue to be used where available.
  • Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used.
  • Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used. Rainwater tanks can only be approved by Council and a sign issued if they are stand-alone and not able to be switched to the treated supply.
  • Trickle feed tanks that are connected to the town water supply for refilling cannot be used for outdoor watering.
  • There is no irrigation of outdoor industrial and commercial green spaces.
  • Cleaning of vehicle windows, windscreens, number plates and mirrors can be done for safety and regulatory purposes with buckets only.
  • Pools cannot be filled or topped up.

Council will consider moving to Level 4 Water Restrictions when the Chaffey Dam level is at 25%, as advised by the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB).

Level 5

  • Emergency level.
  • Includes all bans from Level 4.
  • Evaporative air conditioners can be used, but as efficiently and moderately as possible.
  • Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used. Rainwater tanks can only be approved by Council and a sign issued if they are stand-alone and not able to be switched to the treated supply.

Council will consider moving to Level 5 Water Restrictions when the Chaffey Dam level is at 20%, as advised by the Drought Management Plan (PDF 3.2MB).