Launceston under water restrictions

TasWater services operator Roger MacKenzie and urban treatment and pumping manager Matthew Leyton at the Nunamara Weir, pondering the water restrictions for Launceston. Picture: GEOFF ROBSONWATER restrictions will come into force in Launceston for the first time in almost a decade as the state battles the big dry.

Stage-one water restrictions are now in place, covering greater Launceston out to Low Head, George Town, Carrick, Hadspen and Lilydale, and communities on the West Tamar.

Several towns already on stage-one restrictions – Bridport, Currie, Whitemark, Colebrook and Swansea – will be moved on to stage-two restrictions.

As Launceston does not have its own water-storage facility, restrictions are needed to maintain water supply to the surrounding areas.

TasWater operations and maintenance general manager Glen Jameson says data coming from many catchments, storages and rivers showed supplies were getting lower, and water usage was high.

‘‘For Launceston, stream levels in the North Esk and the St Patricks River, which supply the main water-treatment plants of Chimney Saddle and Distillery Creek, indicate restrictions are the best way to ensure supply can be sustained,’’ he said.

‘‘Already, the low flow levels which normally would not be expected until at least February are being recorded in these rivers, indicating just how dry things really are.

‘‘The inflow into some of Launceston’s water-treatment plants is close to being just enough to meet the demand on the water network.

‘‘However, TasWater is confident it can manage the situation and part of that is the implementation of stage-one water restrictions.’’

Stage-one restrictions were designed to reduce non-essential water use by 20per cent, while stage-two restrictions aim to cut non-essential usage by 50per cent.

TasWater was ‘‘reconfiguring water distribution around the city’’ and some customers in Launceston and George Town might notice a change in the taste of water, Mr Jameson said.

‘‘Although it is dry, we are confident water supplies can be sustained, and I ask everyone to help conserve water by minimising non-essential use.’’

WATER RESTRICTIONS STAGE ONEManual watering systems can only be used between 6am and 8am and 8pm and 10pm.Automatic watering systems can only be used between midnight and 4am.Hand-held hoses with a trigger nozzle, buckets or watering cans may be used at any time.A bucket, high-pressure cleaning device or commercial car wash can be used at any time for vehicle washing. A hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle may be used for pre-rinsing and rinsing at home.Pools and spas with a capacity of more than 2000 litres may only be filled with approval from TasWater.STAGE TWOYou cannot water your lawns.You can water your garden on odd-numbered calendar days if your property has an odd-numbered street address.You can water your garden on even-numbered calendar days if your property has an even-numbered street address.

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