SOUTH Gippsland Water is activating Stage 1 Water Restrictions in Fish Creek and Korumburra, following continuing dry climate conditions and resultant increased water demand.
After a moderately dry winter, this year’s spring rainfall for the region is now confirmed as the lowest on record since the late 1930s. This has reduced reservoir inflows even when rain has fallen. Reservoir levels are currently at 67% for the Battery Creek system (Fish Creek) and 65% for the Coalition Creek (Korumburra) system (as of last Friday).
As of Thursday January 14, Stage 1 Water Restrictions apply to South Gippsland Water customers of the Coalition Creek and Battery Creek water supply systems, under uniform State Model Water Restriction By-laws.
Battery Creek is a small changeable system heavily influenced by the drawdown from farms on the township fringe. As a result of the dry spring/summer conditions and local farm water supplies being low, South Gippsland Water has seen a sharp decline in storages over recent weeks, as a number of these properties now turn to the corporation’s water supplies to supplement farm held supplies.
South Gippland Water commenced pumping a supplementary water supply from the Tarwin River for the Coalition Creek water supply system at the beginning of December. Up until last Friday, some 50 ML had been pumped to assist in meeting demand for Korumburra. Extreme dry conditions together with a resultant increased demand has seen reservoirs drop irrespective of the supplementary water.
Stage 1 Water Restrictions are an alert for customers to think about their water usage. Warm and dry weather leads to pressure on the water supply system, with many homes using more water for showers and watering gardens and lawns, at the same time the sunshine evaporates water from the reservoirs.
South Gippsland Water’s managing director, Philippe du Plessis, said: “The activation of Stage 1 “Alert” Water Restrictions is a step taken in order to alert the community that water storages are starting to get low. This means that customers connected to the reticulated water supply system within and surrounding Korumburra and Fish Creek need to start activating more water efficient practices.
Mr du Plessis noted, “The key difference in Stage 1 Water Restrictions compared to Permanent Water Saving Rules is the introduction of Alternate Days for watering gardens. This means odd numbered houses can water on odd dates of the month and even numbered houses can water on even numbered dates. Both odd and even numbered houses can water on the 31st of the month.”
He added that if warm, dry conditions continued, this could lead to higher level water restrictions in the near future.
A quick snapshot of Stage 1 “Alert” Water Restrictions:
Gardens & Lawns · Watering systems can only be used to water gardens and lawns between 6am–10am and 6pm–10pm on alternate days*.· Hand-held hoses with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or watering can may be used at any time.
Paving, Concrete & Other Hard Surfaces · Hosing banned except for construction purposes or in emergency; or for health or safety hazard.
Vehicles · A bucket, high pressure cleaning device or commercial car wash can be used at any time for vehicle washing. A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle can only be used for rinsing and re-rinsing.
Pools & Spa · To fill or top up a new or existing pool or spa with a capacity 2,000 litres or less, a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a watering can or a bucket, or an Automatic Water Top Up Device must be used.· Pools and spas of greater than 2000 litres capacity must not be filled unless a Water Conservation Plan has been submitted to South Gippsland Water and approved.
* Alternate Days Alternate days means odd numbered houses can water on odd dates of the month and even numbered houses can water on even numbered dates. Both odd and even numbered houses can water on the 31st of the month. Where there is no house number the property is considered an even numbered house.
Additional water restriction areas include: public gardens and lawns, ponds, lakes, fountains, water features, pools, spas, tanks, water tankers, commercial car washes, food transport vehicles, commercial production of plants and/or animals.
Exemptions may be applied for the watering of public sporting grounds.
Interested customers can download full details for the staged restrictions and definitions from the South Gippsland Water website www.sgwater.com.au under the ‘water’ tab or contact South Gippsland Water’s Customer Service Team on 1300 851 636.
South Gippsland Water is encouraging all customers to consider simple water saving practices that they can activate at home such as:
- Using a half flush when flushing the toilet;
- Fixing any leaking or dripping taps;
- Ensuring hoses are fitted with a trigger nozzle and free of leaks;
- Only running washing machine and dish washers when there is a full load to be washed;
- Limiting shower time to 4 minutes;
- Planting water wise garden plants and using mulch to hold moisture in garden beds;
- Installing a pool cover;
- Installing a water saving shower head. Customers can have one delivered for FREE, simply register with South Gippsland Water Customer Service on 1300 851 636.
South Gippsland Water will continue to monitor all water storages and will activate restrictions on water supply systems as needed.