Community & Environment

Soaring water use may lead to sprinkler ban

Soaring water use may lead to sprinkler ban

As high temperatures continue this week, Hamilton City Council is urging residents to reduce outdoor water use to avoid moving to further water restrictions.

Hamilton’s water use continues to surge, with the city consuming the most water its ever used in three consecutive days. More than 85 million litres of water has been used each day between Tuesday and Thursday, a 54% rise on average consumption.

Hamilton is not alone as other parts of the country experience record water-use figures as the heat wave continues.

Hamilton City Council moved to Water Alert Level 2 on Tuesday which means sprinklers and watering systems can only be used on alternate days (eg. even street numbers on even days; odd street numbers on odd days) between 6- 8am and 6- 8pm. Hand-held hosing can still be done any time.

Hamilton City Council City Waters Manager Maire Porter is urging residents to stick to the city’s current sprinkler restrictions, and to be smart about their non-essential water use, especially outside.

“Hamilton’s levels of water use are close to triggering further restrictions. We’ve had a huge water increase this last week averaging more than 75 million litres a day. If this level of use increases, or continues for too long, Hamilton will need to consider moving to Water Alert 3, which means a complete sprinkler ban and hand-held hosing only.”

Hamilton’s recent water usage figures show that up to half the water being produced at the water treatment plant is not returned into the wastewater system, so is largely being used in gardens and for outdoor purposes.

Small changes to outdoor water use can make a big difference overall, Ms Porter says.

“If you are using a sprinkler consider using a timer to reduce the length of time and ensure you stay within the restrictions. If you don’t have a timer, set an alarm to remind you to turn the sprinkler off after a certain amount of time rather than guessing how long it has been on for.

“If you’re using a pop-up paddling pool this summer use a cover to prevent evaporation as well as the appropriate chemicals to keep the water fresh. These small changes can save significant amounts of water.”

Ms Porter also encourages residents to report any water leaks or concerns about wasteful water use online by using the Smart Water website water concern form

The Smart Water site has an e-newsletter to let you know when your area’s alert level changes. Sign up at

The Smart Water Starts with You! sub-regional summer campaign aims to make long-term change to how we use water and is a joint venture between Waikato District Council, Hamilton City Council, and Waipa District Council.

For more information and water saving tips visit

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