Water restrictions have escalated to level 3 in Mullumbimby.
Water restrictions have escalated to level 3 in Mullumbimby. Brett Wortman

Water restrictions jump to level 3 for Byron Shire residents

MULLUMBIMBY water restrictions have been upgraded to Level 3 to ensure a secure supply in the reservoir to withstand the current threat of bushfires in the region.

The upgrade from Level 1 straight to Level 3 within one week is in response to a further drop of the water levels at Mullumbimby's water supply, Laverty's Gap Weir on Wilsons Creek.

 

Byron Shire Council's Director Infrastructure, Phil Holloway said the catchment area has not received any rainfall since Level 1 restrictions came into effect on November 5.

"The flow into the weir has continued to decrease with the water level at the top of the weir now 770mm below the overflow point," Mr Holloway said.

"The continued dry weather has exacerbated the current drought conditions in the area and all residents and businesses are requested to conserve water wherever possible," Mr Holloway said.

For Mullumbimby residents Level 3 water restrictions mean:

  • No watering of established lawns.
  • Watering of gardens only permitted between 4pm and 9am every second day (using house number system) for a maximum of 10 minutes using a hand held hose.
  • All hoses must be fitted with on/off nozzles.
  • Irrigation systems and unattended hoses are now banned.
  • Water play tools, toys and slides not permitted.
  • Pet washing only permitted between 4pm and 9am using a bucket only. Hose washing is now banned.
  • Washing of driveways, paved areas, roofs, walls, windows, paths not permitted except for health and safety reasons by registered cleaning businesses only.
  • Car washing only permitted between 4pm and 9am on odd or even days (using house number system) for a maximum of 5 minutes using an efficient high pressure, low flow rate cleaner with trigger control.

For business operators, such as commercial car washing, car detailing and commercial pools and spas are also required to log their water use.

Businesses are required to gain prior approval for filling of new pools and spas.

Watering of gardens, lawns and washing of driveways, paved areas, roofs, walls and paths on commercial premises is not permitted (some exceptions apply, refer to the council's website).

Residents and businesses are encouraged to check the full list of Level 3 Water Restrictions at https://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Services/Water-sewer/Water/Water-restrictions.

The water restrictions will remain in force for Mullumbimby residents and businesses until further notice.

Water restrictions are enforceable and penalties apply. Fines of $220 will apply to individuals and $550 for businesses who don't comply with the restrictions.

Mr Holloway said the restrictions are essential to ensure the long-term security of Mullumbimby's drinking water supply.

Water restrictions have not been implemented elsewhere in the Byron Shire, however residents are being asked to be careful with water use to delay the need for restrictions.

With the exception of Mullumbimby, Byron Shire's water supply is provided by Rous County Council (RCC) which manages the Rocky Creek and Emigrant Creek dams. RCC is the principal water supply authority for the Lismore, Ballina and Richmond Valley Shires as well.

Rocky Creek dam is currently 81 per cent full and at this stage RCC is planning to bring in restrictions when that level decreases to below 60 per cent.