Questions and Answers

Please select a category for a range of questions and answers about Water Wise Rules. 

  

General

What are Water Wise Rules?
Central Coast Water Wise Rules are easy, common sense actions that help conserve water every day and replace water restrictions in the Gosford and Wyong region.

The new Water Wise Rules are:

  • Watering with a sprinkler, irrigation system or trigger nozzle hose is permitted any day before 10am or after 4pm to avoid the heat of the day
  • All hand held hoses must have a trigger nozzle
  • All vehicles should be washed with a bucket, trigger nozzle hose or pressure cleaner
  • No hosing of paths or driveways.

When do they apply?
Water Wise Rules apply on the Central Coast from Monday 14 May 2012.

Who do the Water Wise Rules apply to?
The permanent rules apply to all water users including domestic, commercial, industrial and government who use water sourced from the Gosford and Wyong town supply.

Why introduce Water Wise Rules to replace restrictions?
Central Coast dam levels are the highest in 10 years and a number of infrastructure projects including the Mardi-Mangrove Link and the Hunter Connection have been completed. These projects together with the water smart behaviour of the community means the Central Coast water supply is in a much stronger position than when restrictions were first introduced. However, we still need the community to continue using water wisely.

How do they differ from drought restrictions?
Water Wise Rules provide more flexibility as you can choose which day to water and how you water. However, it is still important for all of us to use common sense and not waste water.

How much water will Water Wise Rules save?
We expect to save about 4% compared to unrestricted usage, especially if the community keeps up many of the habits adopted during the drought.

How will Water Wise Rules be enforced?
The legislation does not currently provide avenues for the Councils to enforce Water Wise Rules. The NSW Government is currently investigating regulatory change to allow enforcement.

Do I need to reapply if I already have an exemption?
There are no exemptions, so there is no need to apply. However, there are some exclusions - See Exclusions for more information. 

When will drought restrictions be reintroduced?
Drought restrictions will continue to be a part of the Central Coast's emergency drought response because they can deliver large water savings in times of water shortage.Trigger levels:Level 1 when Mangrove Creek Dam reduces to 42%Level2 when Mangrove Creek Dam reduces to 34%Level 3 when Mangrove Creek Dam reduces to 30%Level 4 when Mangrove Creek Dam reduces to 26%Level 5 when Mangrove Creek Dam reduces to 22% 

Exclusions

Are there exclusions for Water Wise Rules for households?
If you are establishing a new lawn, you may use sprinklers and watering systems as needed for 14 days from the date of installation. After 14 days, sprinklers and watering systems may only be used before 10 am and after 4 pm. You may also hose a path, driveway, concrete and other paved surface during construction or for health, safety, emergency, and surface discolouration reasons.

Examples include:

Construction
Preparing a surface for painting or resealing. Cleaning surfaces before selling or leasing a property. Rinsing surfaces after construction activity provided that the area is initially cleaned using a shovel and broom.

Health

  • Cleaning the BBQ or outdoor food preparation areas.
  • Cleaning spilt food or drink.
  • Cleaning after accidents.
  • Cleaning animal droppings.
  • Cleaning areas affected by sewer overflows.
  • Cleaning school toilet blocks.

Safety

  • Removing a build up of mould or moss.
  • Surface discoloration
  • Removing graffiti.
  • Removing oil stains.
  • Removing a build up of rust.  

If customers are unsure, they should contact their Local Council.

If I have a rainwater tank do Water Wise Rules still apply?
No, Water Wise Rules do not apply to water from a rainwater tank.

If I use bore water or water extracted from rivers, do Water Wise Rules apply?
Bore water and water extracted from rivers are excluded from Water Wise Rules. Some government restrictions do apply to bore water and water extracted from rivers, so always check with the Department of Water & Energy.

Can sprinklers be used at any time?
You can only use a sprinkler before 10am and after 4pm unless you are involved in firefighting and related activities (professional firefighting, defending your home during bushfire, back burning or fire prevention, etc.)

Are there exclusions for businesses under Water Wise Rules?
The following groups and individuals may use sprinklers and watering systems as needed:

  • Landscapers  
  • Mobile garden contractors
  • People using water to cool animals or people.

Businesses must use high pressure cleaning equipment or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle to hose paths, driveways, concrete and other paved surface during construction activity or for health, safety, emergency and surface discolouration reasons.

Sprinklers and watering systems may be used as needed to establish a new lawn for 14 days from the date of installation. After the first 14 days, sprinklers and watering systems may be used before 10 am and after 4 pm daily.

Vehicle dealers must only use high pressure cleaning equipment or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle to clean cars, trucks, caravans, boats, and farm and construction equipment.

Pools

If I am installing a new pool can I fill it?
Yes.

If I am renovating an existing pool can I refill it?
Yes.

Can I fill my existing pool if it is getting low?
Yes.

If I empty my existing pool for cleaning can I refill it?
Yes.

Can I fill up a blow up pool or a toddler wading pool etc?
Yes.

Do the Water Wise Rules apply to children's toys like slip'n'slides?
No, children can play under sprinklers and oher children's toys on hot days.

Gardens

When can I use my sprinkler?
You can use your spinkler before 10am and after 4pm any day.

When can I use my drip irrigation system?
Drip irrigation can be used before 10 am and after 4 pm any day.

A drip irrigation system is a pipe or hose with special drip devices that release water slowly, in drips, at ground level near the plant roots. Examples include integrated drip lines, drip emitters and weeping hoses (like those made from recycled black rubber tyres). Soaker hoses are not a form of drip irrigation. Soaker hoses are usually green and spray water.

When can I water my garden with a hand held hose?
You can water your garden with a hand held hose before 10 am and after 4 pm as long as it is fitted with a trigger nozzle. Watering your garden early in the morning, or late in the evening, reduces water loss through evaporation. 

Is there a limit to how long I can water for?
No, you can water for as long as you like before 10am and after 4pm.   

What is a trigger nozzle?
A trigger nozzle is a device attached to the end of your garden hose that turns off automatically when released from your hand. You can buy a basic trigger nozzle for a few dollars.

Twist type devices are not allowed under Water Wise Rules.

High pressure water cleaning equipment fitted with a mechanism that turns off automatically may be used as an alternative to a trigger nozzle.

When can I water with a bucket or watering can?
You can water your garden with a bucket or watering can at any time.

If I have a gardener or a contractor who works in my garden, do they have to comply with Water Wise Rules?
No, mobile contract gardeners and landscapers are allowed to use sprinklers and watering systems as part of their work activities and can use them after 10 am and before 4 pm.

Buildings and hard surfaces

Can I use a high pressure cleaner to hose my driveways and paths?
You should generally use a broom. In some circumstances, when it is not possible to use a broom, driveways, paths and paved areas may be cleaned using a high pressure cleaner. See the Exclusions section of this Q&A for examples. 

Am I allowed to wash my house?
You can wash building structures, windows, walls, gutters and roofing using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or with high pressure water cleaning equipment.

Are there rules on using a high pressure cleaning device at home?
High pressure cleaning devices may be used to clean walls, roofing, gutters and vehicles at home. Paths, driveways, concrete or pavements cannot be cleaned with high pressure cleaning equipment unless it is for health and safety reasons.

Can I wash the floor area of my balcony/verandah/patio?
Yes, as long as your hose is fitted with a trigger nozzle. However, you cannot hose paths, driveways, concrete or pavements etc unless it is for health and safety reasons.  

Am I allowed to clean my garbage bin?
Cleaning your garbage bins is allowed, provided you are using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle. Do this on the grass whenever possible.

Vehicles

What does a 'vehicle' include?
A vehicle includes all road vehicles such as cars, trucks, motorbikes, caravans etc.  

A boat includes all water craft such as a power boat, Jet Ski, sailing boat, boat trailer etc.

Can I wash my car, boat, caravan or motorbike?
Yes, under Water Wise Rules you can wash and rinse vehicles with a pressure cleaner or a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.

Should I wash my car on the lawn?
Wherever possible, try to wash your car on the lawn. This way you can avoid stormwater pollution, save water, as well as water and fertilise your lawn. Car shampoos use phosphates that are similar to many fertilisers.

Can I wash my car at car wash outlets?
Yes, vehicles can be washed at car wash outlets that comply with Water Wise Rules and use trigger nozzles on their hoses.