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Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

On this page you will find information on water restrictions for all households and residents using Bathurst water supply, along with advice and information on how you can help our water supply last longer.

Click on the links below to see details of extreme water restrictions.

Greywater Use

Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

Greywater is re-usable wastewater from washing machines, showers, baths and basins. The use of greywater can help households to reduce the amount of drinking water being used for watering gardens and is a valuable resource.

There are health and safety risks associated with holding and using greywater. Please read the information below carefully.

What is Greywater?
Greywater is re-usable wastewater from washing machines, showers, baths and basins. The use of greywater can help households to reduce the amount of drinking water being used for watering gardens and is a valuable resource.

What is Blackwater?
Blackwater is water that has been used in toilets, urinals, bidets and kitchen sinks. Blackwater has to be treated and disinfected before it can
be reused. Never use water that has come into contact with the toilet or any other toileting fixture such as a bidet or urinal. Furthermore, water that has been used to wash soiled nappies is also considered blackwater, and cannot be used.

What are the Benefits of Greywater?
Greywater benefits include:
- It is a relatively easy and safe source of water to access and use
- It is a good source of important nutrients for many plants

What is Bathurst Regional Council’s Greywater Policy?
Council’s Greywater Policy covers the use of greywater through:
- Manual bucketing
- Greywater diversion
- Greywater treatment

Council's Greywater Policy can be found on the Supports & Resources section.  Residents who already have a greywater diversion system in place or may be interested in such a system should refer to this Greywater Policy in the first instance.

When to Use Greywater?
The manual bucketing of greywater does not require a Council approval, but it should be noted that under water restrictions greywater can only be used at the following times:
-  Between 6am and 9am and 6pm and 9pm on any day (Eastern Daylight Saving Time)
- Greywater must be used within 24 hours of it being collected

What to Consider When Using Greywater?
There are some things to consider with regard to the use of greywater, the first is that it contains contaminants, some of the common contaminants in greywater include:
- Salts
- Food materials
- Household detergents, soaps and chemicals
- Bacteria and other disease-causing microbes

Can I Weed 'n' Feed my lawn when watering with greywater?
Using greywater to apply Weed 'n' Feed, or a similar product that combines broad leaved herbicide with fertiliser, to lawns during dry times is not recommended since this product should be applied to wet lawns and then watered in to depth. Most households would not have sufficient greywater to achieve watering to depth. A better alternative is to delay fertiilsing lawns during dry times or apply a slow release organic fertiliser only at the start of Spring. Manual weeding of broad leaved weeds is recommended as an alternative to 'Weed and Feed'.

Ways to Reduce Health Risks When Using Greywater
It is important to be aware of the health risks attached to the use of greywater, some suggestions to reduce health risks are included below:
- Use lower risk sources of greywater, such as water from the shower, bath and laundry rinse cycle.
- Don’t use greywater on vegetable gardens
- Don’t use greywater if any member of your family is suffering from gastroenteritis
- Don’t irrigate your garden with greywater in wet weather or if the soil is already wet
- Don’t allow greywater to form pools or ponds in your garden. The microbes will thrive, creating an offensive smell and a health hazard
• Don’t allow your pets to drink greywater
- Take all steps to reduce public access to areas irrigated with greywater
- Keep children away from garden areas irrigated with greywater
- Make sure your swimming pool and any other water features, like ponds and birdbaths, are safe from greywater runoff.
- Encourage all the family to wash their hands before eating.
- For more information please refer to NSW Health web site

Consult with a licensed plumber before you attempt to alter any plumbing in your home and any use of greywater other than manual bucketing may be subject to Council and other approvals.

Practical suggestions for Safe Garden Use of Greywater
There are several practical suggestions that can assist with the use of greywater in the garden:
- Ingredients in cleaners and detergents that can harm or kill plants include total salts, sodium, chloride and boron. Check product labels carefully.
- Never hose, spray or mist untreated greywater. Greywater should be applied directly to the roots of the plant, not the foliage.
- Different plant, including natives, can tolerate differing amounts of nutrients. Consult with your local nursery for further information.
- Water your garden, in accordance with restrictions, with fresh water to help prevent the build-up of salts in your soil.

Consider your personal health and safety circumstances and that of those around you (including young children, seniors and people with mobility challenges) when collecting, holding, moving/carting and dispersing greywater.  

See Resources & Forms section for a printable version of the Greywater Fact Sheet.

Alternative Water Supplies

Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

Bathurst Regional Council has implemented a range of drought management actions in accordance with its Drought Management Plan, water restrictions are part of this plan and relate solely to Bathust water supply.

Alternative water supplies do exist, including bores, wells, independent rain water tanks (not filled/topped up from Bathurst water supply) and water sourced from supplies outside the region. 

If an alternative water supply is being utilised, appropriate signage must be in place at the front of the property to alert compliance officers.

In rare circumstances raw water may also be available - please contact Council's Water Section for further information. 

Email water restrictions  

Hotline: (02) 6333 1683

Bathurst Bulk Filtered Drinking Water Filling Stations

Council provides a bulk filtered water supply via filling stations at Hereford Street. These filling stations provide filtered water from Bathurst’s town water supply, and therefore ARE NOT an alternative water source to the Bathurst water supply. Water from these filling stations must be used in accordance with current water restrictions. Anyone wishing to access bulk filtered water from these filling stations must obtain a Permit to Access Bulk Water.   



Water Restrictions Other

Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

Garden features and temporary childrens pools: top up and filling is NOT permitted.

NB: Bird baths, frog ponds and other water containers are permitted to supply water for domestic and native animals.

Washing hard surfaces: Washing of outdoor hard surfaces such as driveways and footpaths is NOT permitted EXCEPT for health and safety purposes (washing only allowed in immediately affected area and with use of a high pressure/low volume water device).

Indoor activities: 4 minute showers OR 1 bath/person/day (150mm deep) AND WaterWise actions required - ie. only use washing machine and/or dishwasher when full, turn taps off when brushing teeth, check for dripping taps and fix leaks.  Council does not actively enforce indoor water use restrictions, however residents are asked to be conservative with indoor water consumption.

Council reminds customers that maintaining health, safety and hygiene is a priority – conservative water use for these purposes is permitted regardless of water restriction level.

Please see Resources & Forms section for forms, plans and other documents.


Water Restrictions Pools

Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019  ** Conditions apply

  • No filling of new pools using Bathurst water supply
  • Topping up of pools will ONLY be allowed with an approved Council Pool Permit (see Resources & Forms tab)

** Conditions: Permits may be granted to indoor public pools and hydrotherapy pools. Permits may be granted to private pools for the express purpose of minimising damage to existing pools. Further conditions will apply.

During extreme water restrictions topping up of residential pools using Bathurst water supply is not allowed without a Council permit.

When completing and submitting a Council pool permit for topping up a residential pool, pool owners must provide evidence from the pool manufacturer, or other evidence, that notes the potential damage to infrastructure which would result if their pool water level is not kept at a certain level.

For full details see the Swimming Pool Information Sheet, Swimming Pool Business Additional Information Sheet and Swimming Pool Permit under the Resources & Forms tab in this section.

If pool owners have an independent alternative water supply to Bathurst water supply, a permit is not required. Note: a tank that is connected to Bathurst water supply network is not an independent alternative water supply. 

Extreme water restrictions for residential pools are in place to minimise damage to pool owners' infrastructure while simultaneously ensuring Bathurst's limited water supply is kept for drinking purposes wherever possible during these exceptionally dry times.  

In the event that a pool is permitted to be topped up using Bathurst water supply, pool owners and users are expected to refrain from any activities that result in water splashing out from use (e.g. 'bombing' into the pool), as this will result in an unnecessary draw on the limited water resources of Bathurst water supply.

Pool covers should be kept on for as long as is safe and feasible, to further limit water loss from evaporation. Pool owners should contact their pool manufacturer or pool expert to ensure the pool covering times take into account possible infrastructure damage and health hazards from chlorine over-concentration, algae build-up and other results of covering pools. 

A reminder: A condition of Council's Pool Permit for topping up of a residential pool, is that pool owner's NOT engage in pool activities that splash water from the pool, as this will lead to unnecessary use of limited drinking water resources.

Water Restrictions Car Washing

Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019  * Conditions apply

  • Vehicle washing is NOT permitted at home
  • Washing of windscreens, lights, windows, mirrors and number plates permitted at service stations 
  • Washing of cars IS permitted at registered car washes

* Conditions:
Washing of private vehicles should be carefully considered and only undertaken if absolutely required.
Washing is permitted at:

  • registered indoor public hand car washes;
  • registered undercover hand car washes; and
  • automated car washes.

Water Restrictions Gardens

FROM 24 February 2020 water restrictions for home gardens will be: 

  • Watering ONLY permitted before 10am or after 4pm;
  • On Sundays and Wednesdays ONLY;
  • For a maximum of 30mins water running time (one tap only);
  • Using buckets and/or watering cans - NO hoses or microsprays or watering systems. 

These changes are in response to the continuing decline in the water level at Chifley Dam, the main source for Bathurst water supply. These changes supersede previous permitted water uses.

Water Restrictions Lawns

Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

Watering lawns is NOT PERMITTED at all during extreme water restrictions.

Resources and Forms


Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

  • A small number of exemptions have been approved to-date, for extreme water restrictions.  

If you are a resident connected to Bathurst water supply and believe you are unable to comply with extreme water restrictions, you may apply for an exemption. As a resident, you must adhere to all extreme water restrictions while your exemption application is being processed.

Businesses wishing to apply for an exemption should visit the business water restrictions information section for further information. 

See Resources & Forms page in this section for exemption forms.


Extreme water restrictions apply from Monday, 14 October 2019

  • Water restrictions are enforced from Monday 14th October 2019 and a range of penalties (as outlined below) will apply for non-compliance.

During times of water restrictions, at Level 4, 5 or 6 Council may adopt various enforcement options (as contained within the Bathurst Regional Council Enforcement policy) including but not imited to the following;

(1) Verbal Warning

A verbal warning may be issued by an authorized Council officer to a person for a minor breach incident arising from genuine ignorance of the water restrictions. The authorized officer will provide information to the resident and later record the incident as a verbal warning for the premises. 

(2) Warning Letter

In cases where a minor but deliberate breach of restrictions has occurred Council may issue a formal warning letter to the resident responisble. A second warning letter may be issued subject to circumstances. 

(3) Penalty Notice

Where a warning has been previously given or in cases of more significant and deliberate breaches of water restrictions, a penalty notice may be issued.  The maximum penalty is $2,200.00.

(4) Court Attendance Notice

In serious breaches of water restrictions or in the case of repeated deliberate offending, Council may initiate legal action against the person responsible through issuing a Court Attendance Notice.

(5) Install an electronic meter on a property

Installing an electronic water meter on a property allows for more accurate monitoring of water use. The data gathered may be used as evidence to support further enforcement action.

(6) Install a flow restriction device on a property

A flow restriction device may be installed on the premises of minor recidivist offenders or where previous enforcement action has failed to achieve compliance with water restrictions.

(7) Disconnect Councils water supply to a property

In the most serious cases of breach of water restrictions or where other enforcement action has failed to achieve compliance with water restrictions, the General Manager may approve the disconnection of supply of water from Council. 

Additionally, all fees for the installation and later removal of any meter and/or flow restrictions devices as well as the disconnection and reconnection of a water supply service, shall be met by the owner of the property. 


Current Dam Level

Chifley Dam is the main source of water supply for the Bathurst community.

On our Chifley Dam Details page we update dam level information each Tuesday, including current dam level, blue-green algae alerts, inflow and consumption readings and more.