Two days into summer, water restrictions trickle in
IT’S only the second day of summer, and water restrictions have been announced for one Northern Rivers community.
They have meanwhile been foreshadowed for another local government area.
Tweed Shire Council has begun the process required to apply Level 2 Water Restrictions to the Tyalgum Water Supply area.
Those restrictions will be effective from midnight Sunday, December 6.
The council said in a statement the water level at Tyalgum weir is just above the overflow pipes and the water level has been falling rapidly.
Flows at the Eungella River Gauge have fallen to close to 3 megalitres a day, triggering the need for water restrictions.
The Tyalgum weir is small and the quantity of water it holds can change very quickly. For this reason, water restrictions are implemented at level 2 and escalate direct to level 4.
“Given the current flow conditions in the Oxley River and average daily water consumption, without rain soon Tyalgum will go to level 4 water restrictions potentially within two to four weeks,” the council’s manager of water and wastewater operations, Brie Jowett, said.
The council will write to those connected to the Tyalgum Water Supply.
The restrictions apply to all residential and business water customers connected to the Tyalgum water supply.
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald has meanwhile warned the council will consider the need for water restrictions if river levels continue to drop in that region.
“Hopefully, we will receive some rain soon,” Mr Macdonald said.
“But in the meantime council is strongly encouraging residents to be mindful of their water usage and help reduce the strain on the town’s water supply.”
What Tyalgum’s Level 2 restrictions mean:
Level 2 restrictions limit the use of water outdoors and aim to get Tyalgum residents to reduce to 144 litres of water per person per day. Across the Tweed, average daily water consumption last week was 191 litres per person per day.
Affected residents in Tyalgum can only water their gardens every second day using a handheld hose fitted with an on/off nozzle for 30 minutes or with an irrigation system for 15 minutes. Watering cans and buckets can be used at any time.
Odd property numbers can water gardens on odd dates of the month and even property numbers can water on even dates of the month, with no watering to occur on the 31st of any month.
Residents can wash cars using a bucket or handheld hose for 10 minutes only between 4pm and 9am. If possible, they are asked to use efficient high-pressure, low-flow rate cleaners with trigger controls.
Existing pools and spas can be topped-up between 4pm and 9am using a handheld hose only. They cannot be emptied and refilled.
The council is likely to trigger pre-restriction activities for the wider Tweed community early in the New Year when the level in Clarrie Hall Dam is expected to reach the trigger point of 90 per cent. Currently the dam is at 94.9% and falling an average 1 per cent a week.
Water sales outside the Tweed Shire are banned and Tweed’s Save Water Now campaign is ramped up when the dam reaches 90 per cent.
Tyalgum water customers can read the full list of Level 2 water restrictions in Council’s Policy – Drought Water Restrictions, available on Council’s website at www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/WaterRestrictions