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Rising dam level prompts gradual easing of water restrictions

By August 19, 2020News, Water

Orange residents will be able to use soaker hoses for two hours at a time on two days a week, instead of only Sundays, following the easing of water restriction which came into force today. 

Just before noon today (Wednesday), the rising levels of Spring Creek and Suma Park dams reached the 40% trigger point to move from Level 5 to Level 4.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd has welcomed the milestone but urged residents to continue to comply with the city’s water restrictions.

The Macquarie Pipeline pumps water into Suma Park dam.

RISING: The Macquarie Pipeline pumps water into Suma Park dam.

“The residents of Orange have set the bench-mark for responsible water use anywhere in the state,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “The lessons of responsible water use learned over many years are now the new normal for the people of Orange.”

“It’s important to have a sensible system for water restrictions that’s based on both how much water is in storage, but also on how much water it’s responsible to use at any time in a dry continent like Australia.”

“We went from Level Four to Level Five in October last year, when we reached 35% of storage. Now we’re being conservative and going back from Five to Four, now we’ve reached 40%.

“It’s been good to see signs of community debate this week when the prospect of easing water restrictions was first flagged. While some will accept the change, many other residents are saying it’s too soon to relax. It’s too early to step back from water restrictions altogether.

“Level Four means only watering gardens on two days a week, not that we need to do it all during the cooler months. Some people will appreciate being able to wash their car again, but it’s still only with a bucket.

“Instead of one hour on a Sunday, we’ll be able to have two hours (Wednesdays & Sundays 7am- 9am and 4pm-6pm) on Sundays and Wednesdays. There’s still no sprinklers under Level 4, but some will like to have the option of using an efficient soaker hose again to get a vege garden started in Spring.

“We still need to work hard to preserve every drop. It’s going to make all the difference to be moving closer to 50% by the time we get into Summer.

“I’m asking Orange residents to keep up the good work. Let’s all work together to get our storage levels to 50 per cent.”


LEVEL FOUR RESTRICTIONS:

LAWNS
 No watering.
RESIDENTIAL GARDENS
 No sprinklers.
 Only micro-sprays, drip systems, soaker hoses. Limited daily hours, two days a week only
(Wednesdays & Sundays 7am-9am, 4pm-6pm).
 One hand-held hose with a trigger-nozzle for up to half an hour on those two days.
WATER FEATURES
 Water features can be topped up.
NEW TURF
 No.
SWIMMING POOLS
 Pool covers must be used. Topping up only between 7am-9am and 6pm-8pm any day.
POP-UP CHILDREN’S POOLS
 May be used.
WASHING CARS AT HOME
 Washing cars with bucket only on lawn from 9am to 12 noon any day.
BATHS AND SHOWERS
 Suggested limit of 5 minute shower. One bath per day.
WASHING MACHINES
 Full loads only.
EVAPORATIVE COOLERS
 Only to be used 7am to midnight daily.

KEY DIFFERENCES FROM LEVEL FIVE TO LEVEL FOUR:

 Micro-sprays or soaker hoses on gardens are permitted for two hours on two days per week
 Within those two hour periods, buckets, watering cans, drip systems or a hand-held hose with
a trigger nozzle for 30 minutes two days per week
 Topping up swimming pools permitted
 Washing cars at home on the lawn, with a bucket between 9am and 12 noon permitted.

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