Council has announced Level 4 water restrictions in Bellingen Shire due to low rainfall in the catchment areas and falling river levels.
Classified as 'Severe', this is one step below the highest level of 'Emergency' restrictions level.
'Level 4 - Severe' means the use of potable (drinking) water outside is banned.
Residents who receive a town water supply can only use recycled, grey or rainwater on gardens - there is a total ban on sprinklers, soaker hoses and hand-held hoses.
Cars, boats, houses and driveways cannot be washed and swimming pool top-ups are also banned.
You can collect grey water by placing buckets in your shower, collecting your washing machine water or using kitchen sink water - and use this water on garden plants.
Level 4 water restrictions are triggered when the flow in the Bellinger River reaches 5 ML/Day, and currently the flow in the Bellinger River is 3.7 ML/Day.
Asked if this was the first time that Bellingen Shire had moved to this level of restrictions, a council spokesperson said according to their records, it is.
A Water Restrictions Table outlining what is permitted in all levels of water restriction can be found here.
In previous years when restrictions have been implemented water usage has increased. Council will be performing patrols to try and minimise this effect and hopes that everyone acts responsibly and follows the restriction rules above.
Should the flows in the Bellinger drop below 2.5 ML/day Emergency Water Restrictions will need to be imposed.