Hand watering

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.

Watering systems

You can water gardens and lawns using a watering system (manual, automatic, spray or dripper) only on alternate days between 6am - 10am and 6pm - 10pm.

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 29th of February.

Hand watering

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.

Watering systems

Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces can also use a watering system only on alternate days between 6am - 10am and 6pm - 10pm, or water in accordance with an approved Water Use Plan.

You can fill and operate your fountain or water feature as long as it recirculates the water.

You cannot hose down hard surfaces including driveways, paths, concrete, tiles, timber decking and other paved areas, except where cleaning is required as a result of an accident, fire, health hazard, safety hazard or other emergency.

You can use a high-pressure cleaning unit, or if such a unit is not available, a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, or a bucket in the course of 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 efficiently water outside of the prescribed hours.

Filling

A new pool or spa of up to 2,000 litres can be filled by means of a hand-held hose, bucket or 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.

Topping up

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.

Water toys

A water toy connected to a hose cannot be used at any time.

Exemptions

Each Victorian urban water corporation has the ability to grant exemptions to water restrictions in special circumstances. For information regarding the circumstances under which an exemption may be granted and how to apply for an exemption, please contact 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 enable new warm-season lawns to be established.

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. For the average Melbourne backyard, water use is likely to be reduced by 70 per cent.

The exemption will apply for installing pre-grown turf and for sowing grass seeds, but is limited to one exemption per property, per year.

Households can obtain the grass exemption between September and March by:

The simple online application process provides all conditions for the exemption, installation tips and an exemption certificate to display outside properties.

After the 28-day exemption, households will have to adhere to water restrictions, which prohibit lawn watering; however, there are no restrictions on captured rainwater or greywater.