Special exemptions for residential customers

Exemptions are usually only for businesses that rely on outdoor water use for their business activities. However, we'll approve exemptions for residential customers in very specific circumstances. You can apply for an exemption:

  • to fill a pool or spa
  • to water new turf for longer than is allowed under the current restrictions
  • to fill or top up a pond, lake or water feature that sustains aquatic life, is heritage-listed or needs to be run intermittently
  • for special reasons, such as for medical, cultural or compassionate grounds.

Please check the current water restrictions carefully before you apply for an exemption. In your application, you'll need to tell us why you need an exemption. Please attach supporting information if you think it will help us understand your situation. 

Lady spraying plant with water

Contact us if you have a carer who can only help at certain times.


Find out what you need to tell us when you apply

We'll only approve a permit to empty and refill a pool where it's unavoidable. We’ll consider each application individually, based on the reason to refill your pool. You must apply for your permit BEFORE you remove any water from the pool.

If you have partly or fully emptied your pool or spa due to repairs, cleaning and or any other type of maintenance, we may approve a one-off permit to refill it. You must have an approved pool cover or a lockable spa cover in use.  To apply for a pool filling permit, please email us and include your:

  • name
  • property address
  • phone number
  • pool type (pool or spa)
  • pool/spa capacity
  • proposed refill date
  • reason for emptying and refilling the pool/spa. 
We'll email you to let you know if you're eligible and send a permit. 

As spas must be emptied and refilled for maintenance more regularly, we may provide a permit that will cover several refills (for spas under 1,500 L only). 

If you can pull the new turf away from the ground after the new turf watering period allowed under current water restrictions, the roots are not yet established. This means you may need some extra watering.

To apply for a new turf watering permit, please email us and include your:

  • name
  • address (where the new turf has been laid)
  • phone number
  • turf area
  • reason for needing to keep watering outside the restrictions.

We'll email you to let you know if you're eligible and send a permit with an approved watering plan.

Please keep your delivery docket showing the delivery date of your turf in case one of our Community Water Officer asks for 'proof of purchase'.
You can apply for a permit to top up a pond, lake or water feature if it sustains aquatic or bird life, is heritage-listed or must be run intermittently to prevent damage to pumps or seals.

To apply for an exemption permit, please email us your:
  • name
  • property address where the water feature is located
  • phone number
  • water feature type (lake, pond, fountain etc)
  • water feature size (water capacity)
  • reason for needing to top up water feature.
We'll email you to let you know if you're eligible and send a permit. 
You can apply for an exemption from water restrictions for medical, cultural, legal or other important reasons. Please email us and include your:
  • name
  • phone number
  • property address where the exemption will apply
  • reason for needing an exemption.
If you're applying on behalf of someone else, for example if you're a carer, please include the property owner's name.

We'll email you to let you know if you're eligible and send a permit. 
What if your business is affected by water restrictions?
If you can't follow the restrictions to operate your business, you can Apply for an exemption from water restrictions for your business.