Smart Watering in NSW

NSW will start implementing Level 2 Water Restrictions for Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra region on 10th December 2019.

The new restrictions will primarily affect outdoor water use but will have some impact on indoor water uses like filling indoor swimming pools and water features, and operating car wash businesses in shopping centre car parks.

In this blog we have included tips and watering solutions that comply with these rules. Now more than ever, it is important to be water smart and preserve our precious resource. Check out the Sydney Water website for more detailed information.

  1. Using recycled water, greywater, bore water or river water.
  2. Watering lawns and gardens
  3. Using Drip Irrigation
  4. Using Rain Water or Recycled Water
  5. Using watering systems
  6. Watering New turf
  7. Filling pools and spas, and playing with water.
  8. Don’ts

Please note any watering regulations listed in this post are correct as of 2 December 2019. Be sure to visit Sydney Water for the most up-to-date and relevant regulations.

Plant Choices

Level 2 Water Restriction Rules

1. Using recycled water, greywater, bore water or river water.

These water sources are not subject to water restrictions. Many of these water sources have other controls on how they can be used.

  • Recycled water (supplied in some parts of Sydney from purple pipes)
  • Greywater (water from sinks, showers, washing machines etc)
  • Rainwater (as long as the tank/dam isn’t topped up from, or switched to, the drinking water supply)
  • Bore water (some government restrictions apply)
  • River water (you need to have a licence)

Our Greywater Hoses can help you redirect your washing machine water to your lawn. Opt for a low phosphorous washing powder and try to reduce the amount you use to make the water more lawn friendly. We only recommend using greywater on your lawn as it can be harmful to veggie patches and flower beds.

2. Watering lawns and gardens

You can water your lawn and garden before 10am and after 4pm using a watering can or bucket for any amount of time (so long as its in the allocated time frame).

A. Watering Cans

Watering cans are a great way to learn exactly how much water you are consuming in the garden and is a good way to use up any rainwater collected in buckets or containers. Get your kids involved in smart watering by having them help out using a small watering can! Check out our range of 1.8L and 9L watering cans here.

Explore Watering Cans

B. Drip Irrigation Systems can be used for a maximum of 15mins a day

This watering system delivers water as close to the roots as possible so no water is wasted on foliage! The versatility of drip irrigation system components means they can be used on garden beds, pots and even hanging or vertical planters, and they are very easy to extend if your garden or pot collection expands. We recommend connecting this type of system to a tap timer to automatically switch it on and off, so you know it will water for exactly 15mins. Drip irrigation, when hooked up to a tap timer, will look after your plants when you are away from the house, so it is perfect to set up before the holiday season. Find out how to put together a drip irrigation system here.

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C. Using Rain Water or Recycled Water

Use an inline drip irrigation system for supplying precise amounts of reclaimed water to lawns, garden beds & landscaped areas. The purple colour indicates that the water is not fit for human consumption. The reclaimed water is supplied via calibrated drippers within the pipe, so there are no extra drippers required. Each dripper in the pipe has high flow characteristics and a larger outlet to handle dirtier water. It is available in 30m and 100m.

3. Using watering systems featuring either an automated weather adjustment, rain sensor or soil moisture sensor

The BTX8 Irrigation Controller is ‘rain sensor ready’, which means it can have a rain sensor fitted to the controller so you can continue using your irrigation system safely within the new watering restrictions. Bluetooth® control in the BTX8 allows for easy, app guided set up and is suitable for larger outdoor spaces with up to 8 individual watering zones.

Explore Irrigation Controllers

4. Watering New turf

You can water new turf with a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle for up to four weeks from the delivery date, following the watering plan below:

  • Week 1: Water up to three times a day, for a maximum of 30 minutes each session, at any time of day
  • Week 2&3: Water up to two times a day, for a maximum of 15 minutes each session. You can only water before 10 am and after 4 pm
  • Week 4: Water before 10 am and after 4 pm, for a maximum of 30 minutes, on no more than three days during that week

After week 4, you can only water your turf following the water restrictions. This means you can water before 10 am and after 4 pm with a bucket or watering can, or with a smart irrigation or drip irrigation system for a maximum of 15 minutes

Explore Spray Guns & Nozzles

Turf Before Turf After

5. Filling pools and spas, and playing with water.

You can top up an existing pool or spa using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle for a maximum 15mins a day. We have a range of watering guns and nozzles fitted with a self closing trigger. Take the extra step of replacing your tap fittings with our patented Double O-ring Grip ‘n’ Lock fittings, which come in UV resistant plastic or solid brass, and are guaranteed not to leak or drip.

Explore Hose Fittings
Explore Spray Guns

6. You cannot at any time:

  • Use a standard sprinkler, soaker hose, weeping hose, mist sprayer, tap timer or watering system at any time, unless it’s connected to a smart watering system
  • Have background watering running off onto hard surfaces, such as paths or roadways
  • Put the sprinklers on for children to play under – this includes children’s toys that connect to a hose, such as a ‘slip n’ slide’

We recommend checking with your local council first, but exclusions to the above restrictions may apply if watering with recycled water, grey water, rain water (that isn’t topped up from or switched to the drinking water supply), bore water or river water (licence required)


Wetting Agent

Soil Wetting Agent

Apply a soil wetting agent to your lawn three times a year (early spring, early summer and autumn) to assist water penetration in lawns and garden beds. Wetting agents increase water absorption, improve efficiency of any fertilisers used, reduce water run-off and help eliminate dry patches. Increasing water absorption of soil encourages deeper root growth and ultimately less watering will be required. Choose a product that is earthworm and water run off friendly.



Mulching garden beds is essential in Australian summers. Effective mulch will reduce the frequency of watering and keep you plants happy and heat-stress free. There are a variety of mulches available and some are better than others at water retention. Opt for mulch that is more decomposed or broken down than hard wood mulch. Mulch will also smother weeds and add organic matter into the soil as it breaks down, which is beneficial to soil micro-organisms.

Plant Grouping

Plant Grouping

Group together plants with similar watering needs. Native plants, succulents and cacti will require much less water than leafy green decorative plants and veggies. This is easily done with pot plants, but may require forward planning for established garden beds.

Watering Time

Watering Time

Water your garden before 10am or after 4pm when it is cooler and water evaporation is less likely to occur. Water at the base of the plant, close to the root zones. Leaves do not require watering. When watering, give the soil a solid soaking but less frequently. This will encourage deeper root growth and a higher resistance to hot and dry weather.

Lawn Mower

Lawn Mowing

Mow your lawn on a higher blade setting in the hotter months and mow in the evening when the sun is down. This helps keep moisture in the roots. Evening mowing also gives the grass about 12 hours of shade and healing time before the next day.

Weather Station

Weather Monitoring

Weather Stations are a clever and easy way of keeping tabs on your local weather patterns – as local as your own backyard! Weather occurrences, like rainfall, can often vary slightly between suburbs and although the difference may seem negligible to some people. To the smart gardener, the data collected could mean skipping a watering day because their suburb experienced some overnight rain. Our Aspect Weather Station range is a two-part system consisting of a data gathering station that is mounted within the your property, which transfers environmental data to an LCD screen inside your home, or even direct to your smartphone!.

Traditional rain gauges will also do the trick of displaying overnight or daytime rainfall if you prefer a simple rain monitoring solution.

Plant Choices

The plants you choose to include in your garden will greatly influence your water usage. Our hot climate will, naturally, favour hardy natives, which can be very creatively designed to complement your home and outdoor space. The range of native plants is so vast in size, texture, shape, colour and even animal, bird and beneficial insect attractiveness. Not only do plants that are suited to our unique climate reduce your water consumption, but they also require less care from the gardener. Head to the Australian Plants Society NSW Plant Database to browse an impressive collection of native grasses, ground covers, wetland plants, shrubs, trees and climbers.

We suggest thinking ahead into hot summer days when setting up vegetable beds and considering a installing a temporary shade cloth covering in peak heat season. Tinted 50% UV protection shade cloth can be attached to timber posts using butterfly clips in a quick DIY afternoon, giving your greens much needed relief from the heat in summer.

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