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Sydney water restrictions

Sydney water restrictions

What do the recent water restrictions mean for my lawn?

What happens if I am planning to buy new turf?

What am I allowed to do?

If you’ve ever asked these questions, here is what you need to know about the Level 2 water restrictions introduced to the Greater Sydney metropolitan region and the lawn solutions available.

What can you do?

Unfortunately, drought has struck NSW and as a result, measures are in place to preserve our water supply.

As a lawn owner or potential buyer, you want to know what you can do to preserve your turf while conserving Sydney’s water. Thankfully, there are legal solutions for existing and new lawns.

The good old watering can or bucket is perfectly fine for taking care of your Sir Grange turf, Sir Walter turf or any other lawn variety.

Drip irrigation and watering systems that have either automated weather adjustment, rain sensors or soil moisture sensors are fine as well. Please note: drip irrigation systems and smart watering systems can be used but for only 15 minutes a day, with all methods only allowed before 10am or after 4pm.

You can no longer use a hand-held hose even if it is fitted with a trigger nozzle for watering established turf. It is important to remember that you cannot use sprinkler systems at all or leave hoses and taps running unattended.

For new turf owners, you may water for FOUR WEEKS after your turf is delivered. It is important you follow the approved water plan (see below) and keep your turf delivery docket in case a Water Officer does ask for ‘proof of purchase’.

Once it has been established after the first four weeks, the standard water restrictions apply. If your turf is still not established after the first four weeks, you can apply for a possible extension with Sydney Water by emailing them here or visiting their website and applying with their online form.

keeping your lawn hydrated inforgraphic

Level 2 watering plan for new turf

For new turf owners, it is important you follow the approved watering plan stated below. This plan strictly ONLY applies for the first four weeks, starting from the date of the turf delivery.

This plan can be followed using a hand-held hose with a fitted trigger nozzle for a lawn of any size. Alternatively, during this four-week plan, you can also use a sprinkler and watering system but ONLY if you have a continuous area of new turf that is larger than 30m2.

Week 1: You can water your turf up to three times a day at a maximum of 30 minutes each time at any time of the day.

Week 2 & 3: During this time, you can only water your lawn up to two times a day for a maximum of 15 minutes each time. This can only be done before 10am or after 4pm.

Week 4: In the fourth week, you can only water your lawn once a day for only three days that week. It can only be done before 10am or after 4pm for a maximum of 30 minutes.

If you find your lawn has not yet been established and can still be pulled off after four weeks, you can apply for further exemption from Sydney Water by emailing

Your email should include:

  • Your name
  • Contact details
  • Address of establishing turf
  • Size of turf
  • Reason to keep watering

new lawn restriction exemption infograohic



As with most rules, there are exceptions. Recycled water, greywater (water from sinks, washing machines, etc.), rainwater (provided the tank is not hooked up to your drinking water), bore water and river water (with a license) are all okay to use.

There can be heavy fines for failing to comply so knowing the dos and don’ts is crucial.

Steps for lawn care

There are lawn solutions you can implement that will help mitigate the impacts of drought whilst keeping within the restrictions.

Sir Grange and Sir Walter actually have high drought tolerance, making them suitable varieties for the harsh Australian climate. Following the required regulations for water restrictions should be fine for this resilient breed of grass.

Mowing your lawn should be done with precise care. Cutting it too short can cause your grass to become vulnerable to the effects of heat and less water.

Another key to maintaining lawns during water restrictions is to keep the soil healthy. Grass can be surprisingly resilient in drought if other areas help mitigate the effects. Having nutrient-rich soil can help in cancelling the minimised watering.

Steps for lawn care

A beautiful lawn is not an impossible dream during water restrictions. Don’t give up on your lawn in hard times and it won’t give up on you.

Following regulations, taking advantage of the winter months and taking steps for lawn care can alleviate the damaging effects water restrictions may have.

For water restriction details or to purchase a new turf today, don’t hesitate to call us on 1800 668 786. We know that you care about your lawn and we do too!

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