What You Need to Know About Water Restrictions

Currently there are no water restrictions in place, but we do encourage residents to follow the Permanent Water Wise Rules.  

Singleton has a very secure water supply from Glennies Creek Dam, although there may be times when restrictions need to be imposed. Council may interrupt, limit or place restrictions on the supply of water when necessary by order of the Mayor and General Manager, including the:

  • purposes for which the water can be used;
  • times when the water can be used;
  • methods by which the water can be used; and
  • quantities of water that can be used.

Water restrictions are applied in cases of continuing drought conditions or other emergencies, if the available stored water or capacity to supply is limited or in the general interest of all water consumers, such as supporting other areas within the Hunter region experiencing reduced water allocations.

Water restrictions will be widely advertised across various platforms to ensure awareness by all customers. All customers must comply with the conditions of the water restrictions on and from the date specified in the notice. Non-compliance with the conditions of the water restrictions may result in a penalty, in accordance with the relevant legislation and Council resolution.

Levels of Restrictions

The levels of water restrictions that will be applied by Council are outlined in Council’s Drought and Emergency Response Management Plan, in particular section 4.  These levels are in line with the regional restrictions adopted by surrounding regional Councils, including Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter, and provide consistency for our neighbouring communities.

There are three levels of restrictions adopted by Council. These levels are:

Level One

  • No washing down walls or paved surfaces,
  • Washing cars with bucket and rinse with trigger hose on lawn only, where possible,
  • Topping up private swimming pools/spas only permitted between 07.00-09.00am and 06.00-08.00pm,
  • First fill of private and public swimming pools/spas only with Council permission,
  • Large water (>10ML/year) users must prepare a Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP).

Level Two

  • Watering of lawns not permitted for residential and non-residential,
  • Large water users must implement their WEMP,
  • All non-residential businesses (>5ML/year) must prepare WEMP,
  • Hosing of vehicles, boats, or buildings not permitted.

Level Three

  • No filling of private swimming pools or spas or garden water features, including first fill,
  • No washing of vehicles, boats or building permitted,
  • Inflatable or temporary children's pools not permitted,
  • Public car and truck wash facilities not permitted, except in accordance with a Council approved WEMP,
  • All non-residential businesses (>5ML/year) must implement their WEMP.


Seasonal Variations to Watering Times

Restriction levels for watering activities including gardens and lawns are subject to seasonal variations for summer and winter.  

For all restriction levels:

  • Summer means the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March
  • Winter means the months of April, May, June, July, August and September

Odds and Evens System Explained

The odds and evens system is based on the street number of the property and the numbered day of the month.  

If the property street number:

  • is an odd number you can water in accordance with the restrictions on odd numbered days of the month
  • is an even number you can water in accordance with the restrictions on even numbered days of the month
  • has a range of numbers then it should be treated as the first number in the range, for example 12 to 15 Smith Street can water on even numbered days of the month, in accordance with the restrictions, 
  • has no street number, then it should be treated as an even property and you can water on even numbered days of the month, in accordance with the restrictions, and
  • has two street numbers (e.g. corner blocks) then it should be treated as an even property. For example, if the property has the addresses 1 Smith Street and 1 John Street then water use, in accordance with restrictions, can occur on even days.

All properties can water in accordance with the restriction levels on 29 February and 31 of months with 31 days.

Water Restriction Supply Areas

Water restrictions apply to all residential, commercial, industrial and government customers connected to reticulated water supplies in Council’s water supply area, including the following areas:

  • Singleton (including surrounding suburbs)
  • Singleton Heights (including surrounding suburbs)
  • Whittingham
  • Mount Thorley
  • Jerrys Plains
  • Broke, and
  • Above Obanvale Supply customers.

If you receive a water usage account from Singleton Council, then water restrictions apply to your property! If in doubt, contact Council’s Customer Service Team on T 02 6578 7290 or via email.

What about Hunter Water Supply Areas?

If you are located within the Hunter Water Supply Area (Branxton, Dalwood, Leconfield, Belford, North Rothbury), that is, your water usage account is issued by Hunter Water, Council’s water restrictions do not apply. Check Hunter Water’s website for information and advice regarding water restrictions in Hunter Water’s supply areas.

What about Water Licences and Bores?

Water licences, including for water that is supplied from bores and rivers, is not regulated by Council and are not subject to Council’s water restrictions, however this does not mean there are no restrictions on use. Water allocations for these sources are managed by Department of Planning Industry and Investment - Water. Check the Water NSW website, regarding licence conditions.

Penalties for breaching water restrictions

Section 637 of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW) permits Council to apply a penalty to a person who wilfully or negligently wastes or misuses water from a public water supply. From s637, the maximum penalty for a person who wilfully or negligently wastes or misuses water from a public water supply or causes any such water to be wasted is 20 penalty units.

Special exemptions and variations to water restrictions

Council understands there are times water usage is required outside the designated hours or purposes, or the conditions of restrictions cannot be reasonably met. In these instances, you may apply for a Water Restriction Special Exemption or Variation.

There are two types of variations applicable to water restrictions:

  • Special Exemption - available for one off activities over a short time period; for example pressure cleaning a driveway for repairs and maintenance.
  • Special Variation - available for the duration of the water restriction level applicable to the approval; for example an aged pensioner may apply for a special variation to watering times or days based on when carers are available.

Applications are to be in writing and must include the:

  • details of the activity
  • duration of variation (if an exemption application)
  • address of the property
  • property occupier details.

You can apply by email, post or in person. If the application is successful, approvals and conditions will be granted in writing.

Water Supply Triggers and Current Storage Levels

Council’s Drought Management and Emergency Response Plan is driven by defined triggers based on consumption, storage and weather. It details how Council will manage Singleton’s water supply during periods of drought and details these triggers.

To view the current storage level of Glennies Creek Dam, visit NSW Government Water Information.