Sydney water restrictions
What do the recent water restrictions mean for my lawn?
What happens if I am planning to buy new turf?
What am I allowed to do?
If you’ve ever asked these questions, here is what you need to know about the Level 1 water restrictions introduced to the Greater Sydney metropolitan region and the lawn solutions available.
What can you do?
Unfortunately, drought has struck NSW and as a result, measures are in place to preserve our water supply.
As a lawn owner or potential buyer, you want to know what you can do to preserve your turf while conserving Sydney’s water. Thankfully, there are legal solutions for existing and new lawns.
The good old watering can or bucket is perfectly fine for taking care of your Sir Grange Turf, Sir Walter turf or any other lawn variety. If you want to use a hand-held hose, it must be fitted with a trigger nozzle and you may only water before 10 am and after 4 pm.
Drip irrigation and watering systems that have either automated weather adjustment, rain sensors or soil moisture sensors are fine as well. It is important to remember that you cannot use sprinkler systems at all or leave hoses and taps running unattended.
For new turf owners, you may water your turf for the first four weeks under the approved watering plan from Sydney Water.
Week 1: Watering your lawn up to three times a day for a maximum of 30 minutes per session at any time of the day.
Week 2 & 3: Watering your lawn twice a day for a maximum of 15 minutes per session. This must be done before 10 am or after 4 pm.
Week 4: Watering your lawn before 10 am and after 4 pm for a total of 30 minutes a day on no more than 3 days within this week.
After four weeks, you can only continue watering your lawn under the set water restrictions. Those who have new turf covering an area larger than 30 m2, can apply for a further exemption if they find their lawn has not yet been established.
As with most rules, there are exceptions. Recycled water, grey water (water from sinks, washing machines, etc.), rainwater (provided the tank is not hooked up to your drinking water), bore water and river water (with a license) are all okay to use.
There can be heavy fines for failing to comply so knowing the dos and don’ts is crucial.
Steps for lawn care
There are lawn solutions you can implement that will help mitigate the impacts of drought whilst keeping within the restrictions.
Sir Grange and Sir Walter actually have high drought tolerance, making them suitable varieties for the harsh Australian climate. Following the required regulations for water, restrictions should be fine for this resilient breed of grass.
Mowing your lawn should be done with precise care. Cutting it too short can cause your grass to become vulnerable to the effects of heat and less water.
Another key to maintaining lawns during water restrictions is to keep the soil healthy. Grass can be surprisingly resilient in a drought if other areas help mitigate the effects. Having nutrient-rich soil can help in cancelling the minimised watering.
A beautiful lawn is not an impossible dream during water restrictions. Don’t give up on your lawn in hard times and it won’t give up on you.
Following regulations, taking advantage of the winter months and taking steps for lawn care can alleviate the damaging effects water restrictions may have.