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Residential and commercial gardens and lawns
You can water residential or commercial gardens and lawns at any time, on any day, using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.
You can water gardens and lawns using a watering system (manual, automatic, spray or dripper) only on alternate days between 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm.
Alternate days mean people may use their watering systems on an odds and evens, date-based approach:
- Even and no-numbered properties may water on even dates, for example, the 2nd, 4th, 6th and so on.
- Odd-numbered properties may water on odd dates, for example, the 1st, 3rd, 5th and so on.
- All properties may water on the 31st of any month or the 29 February.
Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces
You can water public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces at any time, on any day, using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.
Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces can also use a watering system only on alternate days between 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm, or water in accordance with an approved Water Use Plan.
Fountains and water features
You can fill and operate your fountain or water feature if it recirculates the water.
Hosing down hard surfaces
You cannot hose down hard surfaces, including driveways, paths, concrete, tiles, timber decking and other paved areas, except where cleaning is required due to an accident, fire, health hazard, safety hazard or other emergency.
You can use a high-pressure cleaning unit, or if such a unit is unavailable, a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or a bucket during construction or renovation.
You can wash your car, boat or other vehicle at home using a high-pressure cleaning unit, a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or a bucket or watering can at any time, any day of the week.
The vehicle may also be washed at a commercial car wash.
Councils and schools can water sports grounds and gardens in accordance with the times under Stage One restrictions or submit a Water Use Plan to water outside of the prescribed hours efficiently.
Pools, spas and water toys
A new pool or spa of up to 2,000 litres can be filled with a hand-held hose, bucket, watering can, or an automatic water top-up device.
However, a new or existing pool or spa of greater than 2,000 litres can only be filled in accordance with a Water Use Plan.
An existing pool or spa of any size can be topped up using an automatic top-up device or a hand-held hose, bucket or watering can.
A mobile spa can only be filled or topped up in accordance with a Water Use Plan.
A water toy connected to a hose cannot be used at any time.
Each Victorian urban water corporation can grant exemptions to water restrictions in special circumstances.
For information regarding the circumstances under which an exemption may be granted and how to apply, please get in touch with your local water corporation.
Warm-season grass 28-day exemption
Households and businesses can apply for a one-off, 28-day exemption from water restrictions to establish new warm-season lawns.
Warm season grass uses a lot less water than other grass. Couch, Buffalo and Kikuyu thrive throughout spring and summer on little rainfall, making them well-suited to Melbourne's changing climate. Water use will likely be reduced by 70% for the average Melbourne backyard.
The exemption will apply for installing pre-grown turf and sowing grass seeds but is limited to one exemption per property per year.
You can obtain the grass exemption between September and March by contacting your water corporation.
After the 28-day exemption, households will have to adhere to water restrictions prohibiting lawn watering. However, there are no restrictions on captured rainwater or greywater.
Page last updated: 08/09/23