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Permanent Water Use Rules

Melburnians have adopted a great culture of saving water – using 22 per cent less than ten years ago – but there is more we can do to manage our water efficiently.

The Permanent Water Use Rules were introduced in 2011, and are always in place to help manage our water efficiently. These rules let you know how you can use water around the home. Exemptions apply.

Residential and commercial gardens and lawns

  • 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 between 6pm and 10am, any day of the week.

Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces

  • Hand watering
    Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces can be watered 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 use a watering system between 6pm and 10am, any day of the week or be watered in accordance with an approved Water Use Plan.
  • Watering systems for public gardens or lawns must be fitted with a rain or soil moisture sensor.

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, or if there is 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 to remove stains from hard surfaces once a season (every three months).
  • You can also use a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle in the course of construction or renovation.

Window washing

  • You can wash windows with a bucket, high pressure cleaning unit or a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle at any time. 

Vehicle washing

  • 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 at any time. 

Pools and spas

  • You can fill or top up pools and spas.

Fountains and water features

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

The above rules do not apply to the use of recycled, reclaimed, rain or greywater, except where it is supplemented in any way by drinking water.