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At Water Alert Level 4 only essential water use is allowed.
This means the following water restrictions are in place:
No use of outside water systems (including sprinklers, drip lines, soaker hoses and any other irrigation systems).
No use of hoses.
No filling or top-ups to swimming pools (including portable and paddling pools).
No outdoor cleaning (including cars).
No outdoor water toys (including slip and slides and toys that attach to hoses).
The only permitted way to water your garden at Alert Level 4 is to use collected rainwater and/or greywater from inside your home (e.g. used shower water or left-over water from cooking and washing).
Essential use outside means water may be used for activities like firefighting and emergency clean ups.
Essential use inside your home means that you may use water for drinking, food preparation, hygiene and sanitary purposes only (including washing clothes and taking showers).
Check out these water saving tips for more ideas on how to be as smart as possible with your water use inside.
Water Alert Level 4 applies to residential and all commercial customers regardless of business.
Building a treatment plant just to cater for three months of the year when more water is needed for gardens and swimming pools is not sustainable and would cost rate payers millions of dollars.
A planned upgrade to the Hamilton's Water Treatment Plant is currently underway as part of the Long Term Plan. Scheduled to be completed by December 2023, this will increase the city’s capacity to treat water and cater for the needs of a growing city.
Recently a major upgrade has been completed for Te Awamutu, Pukerimu and Kihikihi areas with additional water being drawn from the Waikato River.
Councils are obliged to provide the infrastructure necessary to supply and treat water to national standards as well as provide enough water for fire-fighting.
Requiring new builds to have a rain water tank would help reduce reliance on municipal water supplies for outdoor watering, but those households would still need to be given a guaranteed town water supply. Unfortunately, the times when people need water the most, are usually the times when there is less rainfall so rain water tanks cannot be relied upon.
Installing a rain water tank may become a requirement in the future as councils seek ways to manage and mitigate extreme weather events, storm water run-off, increase household emergency resilience and encourage people to value water.
If you feel comfortable, have a friendly chat and let your neighbour know about water alert levels and what level is active.
Water wasters are educated on water alert levels and what they mean. Where water is being repeatedly wasted, offenders can have their water supply restricted or can even be prosecuted in serious cases.