An important responsibility of individuals and businesses is ensuring that water restriction rules are adhered to, in order to help protect and preserve this precious resource. If these rules are not followed individuals and businesses can face fines if the rules are breached.

Sydney Water provides the following guidelines which apply to those living in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra.

The rules

Watering your garden, you can:

  • water with hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle, sprinklers and irrigation systems any day before 10 am and after 4 pm
  • use a bucket or watering can to water lawns and gardens at any time
  • establish new lawn using your sprinkler or watering system at any time of day for 14 days after you’ve laid the turf
  • use water from your rainwater tank, as long as it’s not connected to or topped up with drinking water.


Looking after your pool and keeping cool, you can:

  • fill or top up your swimming pool
  • use water to cool people or animals.


Cleaning, you can:

  • use a bucket, watering can or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle to wash vehicles
  • clean your bin using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle. Where possible, wash your bin in an official bin wash area or on grass
  • hose paths, driveways, concrete or other paved surfaces for health, safety, emergency, construction or surface discoloration reasons. You must be able to give a legitimate reason to one of our authorised staff members if you’re asked
  • use a hose to flush your boat engine
  • use a hose with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning device to clean your boat bilges, boat trailer brakes and wheels.


Fire fighting, you can:

  • use a fire hose for fire fighting activities.

Recycled water, bore water, water used to test fire systems and water used for fire fighting are exempt from Water Wise Rules.


Water from rainwater tanks is also exempt if it is not topped up from our water supply.


Some government restrictions apply to bore water and water extracted from rivers, so always check with your local council or the NSW Office of Water.

Install a rainwater tank to use in your home and garden

Installing a rainwater tank in your home is an environmentally friendly and cost effective way to collect water to use in your garden. A rainwater tank from Sydney Water Tanks can also be connected to your toilet cistern which will save approximately 50,000L of town water per year from being flushed down the drain.


Call Sydney Water Tanks today on 1800 041 111 to find out more.