Permanent water savings rules in place

PERMANENT water saving rules are in place across the Gippsland Water service area, even when there are no water restrictions.

Three main rules apply to all Gippsland Water customers all of the time.

Customers must always use a trigger nozzle on their hoses.

This can be used to wash cars and water gardens and lawns at any time.

Watering systems can only be used between 6pm and 10am daily and hosing paved areas is prohibited.

For a full list of permanent water saving rules visit www.gippswater.com.au or phone 1800 066 401.

With Permanent Water Saving Rules in mind, there are lots of things you can do to maintain your garden during the warmer months to keep it looking its best, and more importantly, reduce the amount of water it requires.

Selecting the right plants Choosing plants for your garden should be based around plants that are attractive, durable and have multiple features. This means selecting plants from low rainfall climates or those with special water conservation features. Some of the major plant groups used in a backyard garden include small trees, screening shrubs, small shrubs, ornamental grasses and lawn grasses.

Mulch Using mulch in the garden has many benefits if done well. Mulching your garden beds reduces water loss from evaporation by up to 70 per cent, and holds in moisture to protect your plants from drying out too quickly. Mulching is necessary if you want to maintain your garden right through the hot summer months. It has the added benefit of keeping weeds away, meaning less time spent working and more time enjoying your garden.

Watering How do you know if your garden is watered enough? A good test is to push aside the mulch and put your finger into the soil. If the soil is still moist, you don’t need to water.

Lawns When cutting your lawn use a higher setting on your lawnmower. If the lawn is shorter than two centimetres it will burn because it has no protection from the sun. Longer grass also holds moisture better and will need less watering.

Home and garden rebates Have you recently purchased a water saving product? You could be eligible for a rebate as part of the Victorian Government’s Living Victoria Water Rebate Program. Products such as 5 star water (WELS) rated and at least 4 star energy rated washing machines, rainwater tanks connected to a toilet and/or laundry, garden products, water efficient showerheads, and upgrading to dual flush toilets are eligible for a rebate if purchased and installed from July 1, 2012. All rebate applications for products purchased prior to this date must be lodged by September 30, 2013.

Free trigger nozzles Gippsland Water offers two free trigger nozzles to each customer as part of its trigger nozzle program. You can obtain these by visiting Gippsland Water’s Traralgon office or phone 1800 066 401 to have them posted to you. For more information about saving water in the garden, visit www.gippswater.com.au