Council recognises that water is crucial to regional economic activity and that is why we are providing support to our business customers during restrictions. Here are the answers to some of our frequently asked questions regarding non-residential water restrictions.
Do businesses have to comply with restrictions?
Restrictions for businesses see many similarities to those that apply to residential households.
Under Level 3 water restrictions, certain non-residential premises (businesses and institutions) may be required to submit a Water Saving Action Plan (WSAP). Only businesses determined by Council as the top high-water users will be notified and required to complete a WSAP. Under Level 4 water restrictions, businesses will need to implement and comply with their WSAP, as approved by Council.
Businesses that are not required to submit a WSAP are still expected to comply with the water restrictions as per the non-residential/commercial water restrictions table.
So, what is a WSAP and what is the purpose of a WSAP?
Business water consumers have an important role to play in conserving Singleton’s water and reducing the likelihood that greater restrictions will be introduced. A Water Saving Action Plan (WSAP) is a tool to assist business users in assessing their current water use levels and implementing changes that can be made to improve their water efficiencies. Benefits of completing a WSAP include:
- Improved management of water consumption resulting in reduced water-related costs,
- Change in staff behaviour and strengthened reputation,
- Development of a plan for the continuity of activities, where appropriate, in times of drought, and
- Support of broad community efforts in reducing the likelihood that greater restrictions are introduced in the future.
Types of measures that a business may identify in their WSAP include:
- Upgrading inefficient equipment (toilets, showers, tapware and machines),
- Identifying and fixing leaks in systems,
- Include water wise information for customers/guests, and
- Setting water consumption reduction targets.
Can you water landscaped areas and lawns at your business?
Under the Level 2 water restrictions, which came into effect on 1 March 2020, businesses can water outdoors as follows:
- From 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm every second day, per the odds and evens system in the months of October to March (inclusive), known as the Summer months
- From 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm every second day, per the odds and evens system in the months of April to September (inclusive), known as the Winter months
- Using watering systems, microsprays, drip irrigation, non-fixed sprinklers, soaker hoses and hand held hoses with trigger (on/off) nozzles, fixed to a timer only.
There is also the choice not to water outdoors at all.
I would like to lay a strip of turf outside my business; is this permitted?
Yes, watering of new turf for non-residential / commercial premises is permitted for one (1) week after laying. After this time, level 2 water restrictions on watering of lawns applies.
I am an accommodation provider; can I top up or fill my pool?
Yes, under Level 2 water restrictions you can top up your swimming pool and spa from 7am to 9am and 6pm to 8pm any day.
The hand held hose it to be fixed to a timer and the hose must not unattended while filling. It is important the hose is not submerged in the water and an air gap is maintained all the time. Council encourages the use of a pool cover to reduce water loss.
The first fill of a new swimming pool is permitted in accordance with the above.
Can businesses wash down hard areas such as driveways, paths or even windows?
Washing down of hard areas, driveways, roofs, walls and paths and cleaning windows is permitted under Level 2 water restrictions for health and safety reasons or to continue core business activities. Efficient high pressure, low flow rate cleaners with a trigger control are to be used for cleaning purposes. Buckets are also permitted.
What are the restrictions for pet care or animals?
Similar to residential water restrictions, there should not be any compromise for maintaining health, hygiene and safety pets/animals. This includes the provision of drinking water, washing pets and cleaning outdoor areas, such as animal pens or similar.
Wash pets/animal with a bucket or hand held hose fitted with an on/off nozzle and clean animal pens with efficient high-pressure washers.
What about water use for car wash facilities and car yards?
Under Level 2 water restrictions, core business activities are permitted. Washing vehicles by hand is permitted with use of efficient high-pressure, low flow rate cleaners with a trigger control. Buckets are also permitted.
What about water use for commercial cleaning businesses?
Under Level 2 water restrictions, water use is permitted for health and safety reasons only or to continue core business activities. Efficient high-pressure, low flow rate cleaners with a trigger control are to be used.
What about water restrictions for landscape construction works?
As per residential water restrictions, there are a range of restrictions for landscape construction works – both hard works and soft works (such as planting and turf installation). Please see the non-residential/commercial water restrictions table for details of permitted works and recommendations.