FAQ / Water use during a sprinkler ban

Water use during a sprinkler ban

If your business relies on outdoor water use (house cleaners, nurseries etc.) you can continue to operate as normal, however we ask that you are pragmatic and responsible when watering.

Commercial businesses or public spaces

The residential sprinkler ban applies to residential properties only. It does not apply to sports clubs that are used by the public, or someone’s commercial business (which is their livelihood) and in this situation they are exempt.

Some golf courses and sport grounds have their own bores that they get their water from, which means they are not using mains water.

Councils are still permitted to water their facilities, however we do ask that they minimise the watering of lawns and gardens in light of the drought conditions that are hitting the region. This is a difficult challenge – as they want to play their part in conserving water as much as possible, but at the same time they don’t want our parks and gardens to die, as it would mean that the grass would need to be resown next autumn. This would put winter sports at risk and cost ratepayers large amounts of money to repair community assets.

If you have any concerns about unattended watering of council facilities, please contact your local council.

Lots of Rain?

Water restrictions may still apply even if there has been recent rain. 

There are a number of reasons for the sprinkler ban. 

1) We have not had any decent rain for several weeks. This means river levels have dropped.

2) There are a limited number of reservoirs in the Wellington region (and we have two storage lakes at Te Maura), once these are full it doesn't matter how much it rains during winter they cannot collect any more water. We have stored water in lakes, but this needs to last the whole summer.

3) There may be necessary work being done to some of our treatment plants to make sure we are able to supply safe and healthy water.

If a sprinkler ban is introduced in early summer, it is to help conserve water in preparation for the peak of Summer (Feb/March).

 Even if we have had a heavy rainfall, the water becomes turbid and cannot be diverted into the intake. We have to wait for the debris and sediment in the water to settle before we can divert it. This means a big downpour does not immediately replenish our supply, and by the time the sediments settle the water may have receded.