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Level C Water Restrictions Introduced in the Bellingen Shire

Following heavy rainfall and sustained high river levels and a positive rainfall forecast, Council is moving water restrictions to Level C effective Monday 10 February 2020.

A summary of Level C – Water Conservation Measures are:

The use of sprinklers is prohibited between the hours on 9.00am to 4.00pm

Council will be continuously monitoring the river levels and will modify the restriction levels as required.

Council water restriction are governed by strict licence conditions that relate directly to environmental flows in the Bellinger River measured at Thora. When the flows at Thora reach less than 47ML/day for 5 consecutive days in summer or 10 days in winter Council is required to introduce Level 1 Water restrictions. Level 2 restrictions are imposed at flows less than 31ML/day, Level 3 at flows less than 23ML/day and Level 4 at flows less than 5ML/day.

As Council has no dam to regulate flows or subsidise consumption at low flows our water restrictions can fluctuate quite regularly and are dependent on regular rainfall. To minimise this impact on residents Council may impose a higher restriction level longer than required to prevent too many changes and minimise confusion.

At higher river flows the need to impose restrictions is reduced as the water that passes our bore field enters the tidal zone 600m downstream and flows out to sea. Notwithstanding that Council implores residents to be water wise and conserve water at all times. Adopting a conservation habit will reduce hardship when Council is forced to impose restrictions and place less stress on the environment.

Council is currently working on an options paper to secure our water supply and to help alleviate the need for regular water restrictions. This option paper should be complete in the next couple of months and will be available for community feedback.

Residents, businesses and visitors are asked to take notice of the water restriction level signs at the entrances to towns on the roadside and to visit Council’s website to keep informed of the current water restriction level.

A Water Restrictions Table outlining what is permitted in all levels of water restriction can be found on Council’s website at www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au by following the hyperlink under Notices on the home page.

In previous years when restrictions have been implemented water usage has increased. Council will be performing patrols to try and minimise this effect and hopes that everyone acts responsibly and follows the restriction rules above. Should the flows in the Bellinger drop below 2.5 ML/day Emergency Water Restrictions will need to be imposed.

Council is encouraging our community to conserve water wherever possible. Reducing water consumption will safeguard our precious water supply and also save money, conserve energy and protect the environment.

Below are some handy hints on ways to save water:

At home

  • Fix leaky taps. Even a slow dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres a year. This is water that you pay for, but never use

  • Try a water saving shower head

  • Limit shower times to four minutes

  • Use only a little water in the bathtub

  • Turn off water while brushing your teeth

  • For older toilets without water saving features (like a dual flush), try filling up some of the space in your cistern by adding in a brick or some pebbles. This will decrease the volume of water used with each flush.

  • Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full or alternatively change the settings to suit the load

  • Wash your fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap.

    In the garden

  • Don’t over-water your lawn.

  • Set your mower level higher and let your lawn grow longer. Keeping grass longer shades the soil surface and reduces evaporation loss.

  • If you have an outdoor pool or spa, reduce evaporation by keeping it covered when not in use.

  • Use a broom to clean your driveway

  • Use a bucket to wash the car or visit a commercial car wash that recycles water

  • Water plants deeply, but less frequently. This encourages deep root growth and drought tolerance

  • Consider installing a water tank


Download the poster here

Level C Water Restrictions Introduced in the Bellingen Shire

Following heavy rainfall and sustained high river levels and a positive rainfall forecast, Council is moving water restrictions to Level C effective Monday 10 February 2020.

A summary of Level C – Water Conservation Measures are:

The use of sprinklers is prohibited between the hours on 9.00am to 4.00pm

Council will be continuously monitoring the river levels and will modify the restriction levels as required.

Council water restriction are governed by strict licence conditions that relate directly to environmental flows in the Bellinger River measured at Thora. When the flows at Thora reach less than 47ML/day for 5 consecutive days in summer or 10 days in winter Council is required to introduce Level 1 Water restrictions. Level 2 restrictions are imposed at flows less than 31ML/day, Level 3 at flows less than 23ML/day and Level 4 at flows less than 5ML/day.

As Council has no dam to regulate flows or subsidise consumption at low flows our water restrictions can fluctuate quite regularly and are dependent on regular rainfall. To minimise this impact on residents Council may impose a higher restriction level longer than required to prevent too many changes and minimise confusion.

At higher river flows the need to impose restrictions is reduced as the water that passes our bore field enters the tidal zone 600m downstream and flows out to sea. Notwithstanding that Council implores residents to be water wise and conserve water at all times. Adopting a conservation habit will reduce hardship when Council is forced to impose restrictions and place less stress on the environment.

Council is currently working on an options paper to secure our water supply and to help alleviate the need for regular water restrictions. This option paper should be complete in the next couple of months and will be available for community feedback.

Residents, businesses and visitors are asked to take notice of the water restriction level signs at the entrances to towns on the roadside and to visit Council’s website to keep informed of the current water restriction level.

A Water Restrictions Table outlining what is permitted in all levels of water restriction can be found on Council’s website at www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au by following the hyperlink under Notices on the home page.

In previous years when restrictions have been implemented water usage has increased. Council will be performing patrols to try and minimise this effect and hopes that everyone acts responsibly and follows the restriction rules above. Should the flows in the Bellinger drop below 2.5 ML/day Emergency Water Restrictions will need to be imposed.

Council is encouraging our community to conserve water wherever possible. Reducing water consumption will safeguard our precious water supply and also save money, conserve energy and protect the environment.

Below are some handy hints on ways to save water:

At home

  • Fix leaky taps. Even a slow dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres a year. This is water that you pay for, but never use

  • Try a water saving shower head

  • Limit shower times to four minutes

  • Use only a little water in the bathtub

  • Turn off water while brushing your teeth

  • For older toilets without water saving features (like a dual flush), try filling up some of the space in your cistern by adding in a brick or some pebbles. This will decrease the volume of water used with each flush.

  • Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full or alternatively change the settings to suit the load

  • Wash your fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap.

    In the garden

  • Don’t over-water your lawn.

  • Set your mower level higher and let your lawn grow longer. Keeping grass longer shades the soil surface and reduces evaporation loss.

  • If you have an outdoor pool or spa, reduce evaporation by keeping it covered when not in use.

  • Use a broom to clean your driveway

  • Use a bucket to wash the car or visit a commercial car wash that recycles water

  • Water plants deeply, but less frequently. This encourages deep root growth and drought tolerance

  • Consider installing a water tank