Water Restrictions

Level 2 Water Restrictions now apply

As a region we're experiencing the lowest water levels in our dams in decades. Water restrictions apply to everyone in the Lower Hunter and reducing our water consumption now will help us save water for our future supply. Changing a little can save a lot!

Level 2 water restrictions apply to all properties connected to Hunter Water's water supply network in the areas of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Dungog and small parts of Singleton.View a map of our area of operations

A Quick Guide to Level 2 Water Restrictions

Level 2 table

What's Allowed Under Level 2 Water Restrictions?


What can you do?

What can't you do?

Watering lawns and gardens

Water restrictions L2 - no sprinkler                

You can:

  • Water lawns and gardens by hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, bucket or watering can before 10am and after 4pm every second day* for up to 15 minutes. 

You can't:

  • Use sprinklers or irrigation systems at any time
  • Leave hoses or taps running unattended
  • Water lawns and gardens every day

Hose connected water toys (eg inflatable slides, sprinkler toys

Water restrictions L2 - no sprinkler
 You can:
  • Fill and use paddle pools or inflatable pools that have less than 3,000 litre capacity

Tip: When emptying your paddle pool use the water on your lawn or garden
 You can't:
  • Use toys (eg. inflatable slides, sprinklers) that are connected to a hose at any time
  • Leave hoses or taps running unattended

Cleaning external hard surfaces (paths, driveways & concrete)

Water restrictions L2 - no hosing

You can

  • Spot clean for safety, health or emergency reasons with a hose fitted with trigger nozzle or with high pressure cleaning equipment

You can't

  • Use a hose for general cleaning of hard surfaces such as paths, driveways and paved areas
  • Leave hoses and taps running unattended

Washing vehicles and buildings

Water restrictions L2 - car
You can
  • Wash vehicles and buildings using a bucket at any time.
Tip: wash your car on your lawn and your grass will benefit
You can't
  • Wash vehicles and buildings using a hose.

Washing boats

You can
  • Undertake necessary cleaning for maintenance of water craft, their bilges and motors. Read our FAQ below.

Filling private pools and spas

Water Restrictrions L2 - pool

You can

You can't

  • Top up an existing pool without using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or device that can be turned off instantly
  • Leave an unattended hose running in a pool
  • Fill a new or renovated pool or spa over 3,000 litres capacity unless you have a permit and an approved pool cover. Apply for a permit to fill a pool

Filling or topping up tanks and dams

You can
  • Fill up a tank or dam if primarily used for internal domestic consumption and connected with a direct connection to the domestic plumbing
  • Use rainwater collected and stored in your tank and dam for any purpose (we encourage everyone to use all water wisely)
Please note: when in doubt about the source of the water in your tank please abide by water restrictions

You can't

  • Fill or top up a tank or dam using water sourced from Hunter Water that is not being used for internal domestic consumption

Internal use

water restrictions - leaks icon

You can

  • Have a maximum four minute shower
  • Help water saving efforts by repairing internal leaks as quickly as possible, such as dripping taps or leaking toilets

Tip: Fixing a leaking toilet can save you between 10 to 260 litres a day.

You can't

  • Be wasteful with water in the bathroom                       

* What does watering every second day mean?

  • If your street number is even (e.g. 12 Smith Street) you can water on even dates of the month (e.g. 2nd, 4th, 6th February). 

  • If your street number is odd (e.g. 27 Smith Street) you can water on the odd dates of the month (e.g. 3rd, 5th, 7th February).

FAQs - Your Questions About Level 2 Water Restrictions Answered 

Learn more about how water restrictions apply to your home or business.

Information for homes

Information for business

What's Excluded From Water Restrictions?

There are basic exclusions from restrictions activity:

  • Recycled Water
  • Greywater (water from sinks, showers, washing machines etc.)
  • Rainwater (provided the tank/dam is not topped from, or switched to, the drinking water supply)
  • Bore water
  • Water used for firefighting, testing and related activities.

Level 2 Water Restrictions Exemptions  

Residential and business customers and businesses who are unable to comply with the Level 2 water restrictions are required to apply for an exemption. Exemption requests will be assessed on an individual basis.

Apply for an exemption

Report a Suspected Level 2 Water Restrictions Breach  

We take reports of breaches of water restrictions seriously and have a process in place to investigate these reports. Exemptions do exist for health, safety and emergency reasons and for some homes and businesses, such as commercial nurseries and landscapers. 

Report a suspected breach of Level 2 water restrictions

Water Restrictions Levels

Level 2 water restrictions will remain in place until storages recover to 60%, when we will revert to Level 1. If drought conditions continue, we could move to Level 3 water restrictions. Please remember, just because it's raining around you, doesn't mean it's raining in our catchment areas. 

Table 1-3

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