Permanent water saving rules

Our community recognises water is a precious resource and shouldn’t be wasted. The permanent water saving rules are a set of simple, common-sense rules to reduce demand and make sure we all use water wisely.

Four main water saving tips

The permanent water saving rules are always in place, and are uniform across Victoria.

These rules do not apply to greywater, tank water (rainwater), bore water or recycled water.

UsePermanent water saving rules
Hand-held hose

Water from a hand-held hose must not be used for any purpose (whether or not the use is subject to a permanent water saving rule) at any time, unless the hose:

  • is fitted with a trigger nozzle; and
  • is leak-free.
Residential or commercial gardens and lawns

A residential or commercial garden or lawn area cannot be watered, except:

  • with a hand-held hose, bucket or watering can at any time; or
  • by means of a watering system ­– any automatic or manually operated system of sprinklers, drip or weep hoses, etc. – between the hours of 6pm and 10am on any day.
No water restrictions apply to watering plants or vegetables at wholesale, retail or municipal plant nurseries.
Public gardens and lawns, and playing surfaces

A public garden, lawn area or playing surface (sports ground) cannot be watered, except:

  • with a hand-held hose, bucket or watering can at any time; or
  • by means of a watering system fitted with a rain or soil moisture sensor between the hours of 6 pm and 10 am on any day; or
  • in accordance with an approved Water Use Plan.
Fountains and water features Water cannot be used in a fountain or a water feature unless the fountain or water feature recirculates the water.
Cleaning of hard surfaces

Water cannot be used to clean hard surfaces (including driveways, paths, concrete, tiles and timber decking) except:

  • where cleaning is required as a result of an accident, fire, health or safety hazard, or other emergency; or
  • if staining to the surface has developed, and then only once a season; or
  • in the course of construction or renovation, and then only by means of:
    • a high pressure water cleaning device – an electric or petrol-powered device connected to a hose, that forces water out at a limit of 9 litres per minute or less;
    • or if such device is not available, a hand-held hose or a bucket.

There are no water restrictions on washing windows.

Washing cars and other vehicles

Cars and other vehicles can be washed at:

  • a commercial car wash; or
  • at home, using:
    • a high-pressure water cleaner; or
    • a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle; or
    • a bucket or watering can.
Swimming pools There are no water restrictions on filling domestic pools and/or spas.

Enforcement and penalties

Permanent water saving rules are enforced under the Water Act.

If you witness a breach of the rules, please contact us with details of the offence. An authorised water officer will investigate and report. Official warnings and on-the-spot fines can be issued for offences, and in severe cases, prosecution may be sought.

Frequently asked questions

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