Update #10: Further easing of water restrictions

Date published: 17 December 2020

Townsville City Council today announced a further easing of water restrictions implemented following a rupture of the water pipe linking the Ross River Dam to the Douglas Water Treatment Plant late last week.

From today, sprinklers can be used to water residential, rural and commercial lawns and gardens, including school grounds, between 6-8pm on the odds and evens system. Handheld watering can be undertaken at any time.

Restrictions on washing vehicles and boats have been lifted, however the use of water efficient washing methods is strongly encouraged, including washing at water efficient commercial washing businesses.

Commercial nurseries and market gardens can irrigate between 4pm-9am using water efficient sprinklers, hand-held triggers or twist nozzles, irrigation systems or a watering can or bucket. Watering is still not permitted between 9am-4pm.

Sporting fields, including lawn bowls rinks, golf courses and the Cluden Park race course, can be irrigated using sprinklers between 6-8pm. Handheld watering is allowed at other times.

The washing of hard surfaces is not permitted except:

  • for-profit commercial operators engaged in the business of washing external surfaces of a building or paved surfaces under high pressure for the following purposes:
    • pre-painting preparation activities; or
    • pre-sale preparation activities; or
    • complying with the provisions of a tenancy agreement or lease which require the external surface of a building to be cleaned at the expiry or termination of the tenancy or lease; or
    • cleaning the external windows and glass areas of a building; or
    • maintaining the external surfaces of a building (other than a roof area); or
    • washing part of the external roof area of a building as part of the process of repainting or repairing the roof of the building; OR
  • by water users such as abattoirs, food processing industries, care facilities, animal shelters and other industries or facilities with special needs (health/safety related only)

Residential swimming pools can be filled and topped-up between 6-8pm using the odds-and-evens system. Commercial swimming pools can be filled and topped up from 6-8pm.

Restrictions do not apply to the use of water for public health purposes or for stock watering.

Water use on development sites is restricted to recycled water or bores.

Repairs to the ruptured water pipe linking the Ross River Dam to the Douglas Water Treatment Plant are complete, with ongoing commissioning and testing.

Pumping through the pipe is being increased slowly and air valves use to expel air. Investigations into the cause of the pipe rupture are ongoing.

Council is committed to fully understanding why the pipe ruptured and until that has been determined, Council will proceed with caution.

The water restrictions now in-place will support the reduced pipe capacity.

Council had already commenced discussions with the Queensland and Australian Governments to install a new pipeline.

Council again thanks Townsville and Magnetic Island residents and business owners for their cooperation, understanding and patience.

Residents and business owners should monitor Townsville City Council’s Disaster Dashboard for latest information and updates.

Please note that Section 43 - Notice of Service Provider Restrictions (No. 4) 2020 has been revoked - Notice of Revocation of Service Provider Restrictions.