VOLUNTARY water restrictions were passed at the Muswellbrook Shire Council (MSC) meeting on Tuesday, in an attempt to save resources for drought-affected farmers.
The decision passed unanimously, but the MSC wants to make it clear there is no immediate lack of water in the region.
“Muswellbrook Shire Council does not have an imminent water shortage it is conscious of...[we] encourage the community to use water effectively and sustainably,” a council spokesperson said.
They cited the upcoming bushfire season, which is expected to be longer and more devastating than usual, as another reason for the voluntary regulations.
MSC is working with local groups and surrounding districts to help ensure no-one runs into serious trouble throughout the incoming dry and harsh summer.
“Neighbouring rural areas are facing potable water shortages and council, in partnership with local Lions clubs, is supplying free water to be carted to farming families to top up domestic water tanks,” the spokesperson said.
The voluntary level 1 restrictions will work as follows:
Lawns and gardens: Watering, including with sprinklers and irrigation systems, is only permitted before 10am and after 4pm to avoid the heat of the day.
Vehicle and boat washing: Road vehicles, boats and trailers may be washed at any time of day with a bucket, hose with a trigger nozzle or a high pressure cleaner.
Hard surfaces: No hosing of paths, driveways, concrete or other paved surfaces, except when necessary for reasons of safety, health, emergency, construction activity or surface discolouration.
People and animals: Allowed at any time for the purpose of cooling people or animals.
Private Pools: Topping up of pools using a hose from the water supply is permitted.
Building structures: Washing with a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment is permitted.