Gardens & pools

Greater Sydney is in drought and we all need to do our part by following the current water restrictions and reducing outdoor water use.
Child watering the garden with a watering can

Water your garden with a watering can or bucket before 10 am or after 4 pm.


A garden that makes the most of its natural environment can thrive for longer before it needs additional water. 

Ten tips to save water in your garden

  • Water your garden before 10 am or after 4 pm using a watering can or bucket.
  • Water each plant's roots, not the leaves.
  • Lift the blades on your mower to a higher setting as longer grass holds more moisture.
  • Apply a layer of mulch to retain water.
  • Group plants with similar watering needs together.
  • Get rid of weeds as they take water away from your plants.
  • Choose plants suited to your location. Head to our Plant selector to see which plants will best suit your garden.
  • Choose the best place for your plants, planting them closest to where they grow naturally.
  • Install an efficient drip irrigation system to water your garden efficiently.
  • Know your soil and pick suitable plants. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment can help you find out what kind of soil you have in your backyard.
Remember to check the current water restrictions which affect how we can use water in our gardens.

mulching garden

Adding mulch to your garden retains moisture, so you'll need to water less

Swimming pools use a huge amount of water, but if they are designed well and protected with a pool cover they don't have to be wasteful. Pools are for us to have fun, but we still need to be mindful of not wasting water:

  • Concentrate on keeping water in the pool.
  • Discourage pool users from 'bombing'.
  • Don't continually get in and out of the pool.
  • Drip dry on the top step, so water goes back into the pool.

Reducing evaporation

Evaporation is a major cause of water loss from your swimming pool and spa. Ways to reduce this include:

  • using pool covers
  • using pool blankets
  • using liquid pool covers
  • increasing shade
  • preventing wind exposure
The evaporation rate is highest in the early evening as the air cools and the water remains warm. 

Reduce backwash on your filter

Sand filters require backwashing, which can use up to 8000 L of water every year. Cartridge filters do not require backwashing to be cleaned so they use less water. You should backwash your sand filter once every four to six weeks. Only backwash until the glass goes clear - backwashing for longer wastes excessive amounts of water.

Some quick tips:

  • Backwash only when necessary.
  • Keep the pool and filters clean to reduce frequency of filter backwashing.
  • If acid has been used to clean the pool, the water should be neutralised.
Avoid overfilling your pool. Overfilling not only causes water to overflow out of the pool, but it can prevent your filter from working effectively. The water level should be about half way up the skimmer box opening for the filter to function properly.

For more tips on saving water, visit the Smart Approved Watermark website. Remember to check the current water restrictions which greatly impact how you can use water outdoors.

Kids jumping into pool

Have fun in the pool, but avoid jumping in and out.

water use in the home

26% of water use in an average home is used outdoors.