Water Restrictions

Level 1 Water Restrictions Start 24 February

Level 1 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 1 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 1 Water Restrictions

Water restrictions table level 1

FAQs - Your Questions About Level 1 Water Restrictions Answered 

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

Information for homes

Information for business

What's Allowed Under Level 1 Water Restrictions?


What can you do?

What can't you do?

Watering lawns and gardens


You can:

  • To avoid the heat of the day, water lawns and gardens with a hand held hose before 10am and after 4pm if fitted with a trigger nozzle or device that can be turned off instantly 

You can't:

  • Use any sprinklers or irrigation systems 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 - cars icon
You can
  • Wash vehicles, boats and building at any time if using a bucket, high pressure cleaning equipment or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle
Tip: wash your car on your lawn and your grass will benefit
You can't
  • Wash vehicles, boats and buildings using a hose without a trigger nozzle.

Filling private pools and spas

Water Restrictrions L2 - pool

You can

  • Top up existing pools if using a trigger nozzle or device that can be turned off instantly
  • Fill a new or renovated pool or spa over 10,000 litres capacity by obtaining a permit and a pool cover approved by SAWM or certified by SPASAApply for a permit to fill a pool

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 10,000 litres capacity unless you have a permit and a pool cover approved by SAWM or certified by SPASA. Apply for a permit to fill a pool

Internal use

water restrictions - leaks icon

You can

  • 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.


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 1 Water Restrictions Exemptions  

Residential and business customers and businesses who are unable to comply with the Level 1 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 1 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 1 water restrictions

The Next Water Restriction Levels

Level 1 water restrictions will remain in place until storage levels have fully recovered, but remember, just because it's raining around you, doesn't mean it's raining in our catchment areas. If drought conditions continue, we could move through water restrictions levels 2 and 3.

Water restrictions table - level 2 and 3

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