Sydney water restrictions to be relaxed: What it means for you

Katie Ramirez
February 21, 2020

Recent heavy downpours, including a period earlier this month which saw the heaviest rain for 20 years, has meant dam levels have replenished from concerning new lows.

The change from Level 2 to Level 1 restrictions will take effect in March, when water quality in the catchment's dams is expected to have improved.

"Whilst this event has been so amazingly welcome, we haven't had an event like it for 20 years", Ms Pavey said on Tuesday.

NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey announced the change, saying there are "a number of initiatives" to ensure the water is safe after ash contamination was found in Sydney's main water source.

Reports can be made via the Sydney Water website.

'It is important to note that this issue only concerns untreated water in dam storages at the beginning of the supply chain and has no impact on the quality of treated water, ' a spokesperson for Water NSW said.

After just over two months of level-two water restrictions, Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra will drop back down to level-one restrictions on March 1.

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Sydney's dams went from under 50 percent capacity and falling, to over 80 percent, largely from rainfall over the weekend of February 8-9, during which time up to 400 millimeters fell across the city.

Water supplies were tainted by ash and fire debris after the state's worst ever wildfires, which burnt through millions of acres of bushland and killed more than 30 people nationwide this summer.

Some 200mm of rain fell in the catchment in the past week alone.

Under Level 2 restrictions, gardens can only be watered before 10am or after 4pm with a watering can or bucket, hosing of hard surfaces in banned and cars can only be washed using a bucket or at a auto wash.

Residents in the state will now be able to use hoses, though they will need to be fitted with a control nozzles to ensure supplies are not exhausted too quickly, the state government said.

Fines will still apply for breaches of water restrictions - $220 for residential breaches and $550 for businesses.

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