Commercial water restriction FAQs

Stage one water restrictions are now in place

Commercial water users cannot:

  • Use an outdoor hose or water blasting device when connected to the metropolitan supply network unless it is for health, safety, emergency or biosecurity reasons.
  • Operate a car wash unless it uses recycled water.
  • Water sports fields, plants or paddocks unless they have an irrigation system that is fitted with soil moisture or rain sensors.
Important:
  • The restrictions only apply when connected to the metropolitan water supply network.
  • If you are using non-potable (untreated) water the restrictions do not apply to you or your business.

With Auckland still feeling the effects of the drought, we are asking all business customers to save a minimum of 10% off their normal time of year usage. If we all save a little, it could make a lot of difference.

We've put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers which should cover off any queries regarding commercial restrictions. If, however, you want to find out about residential restrictions or general information regarding restrictions, click the relevant button below.


 

To report a person or company for misusing water, click the button below.

Businesses using non-potable water

There are a lot of companies across Auckland that are powered by water. Cleaning companies, car wash operators, building wash companies – you name it. The drought threw quite a big spanner in the works for those operators, forcing them to change tack and switch to non-potable (untreated) water to keep their businesses powering ahead.

Click here to view the growing list of companies who are both using non-potable water and happy for us to promote their services.

Is your business using non-potable water? Want to enquire about getting on our list? Email the team: save-water@water.co.nz

Commercial FAQs

When were restrictions introduced?
Saturday 16th May 2020.

Why is Auckland’s water supply strained?
Since the start of the year, the region has received significantly less rainfall than normal. This is having a big impact on our water supply. On 15th April, the total volume of water stored in our dams dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in more than 25 years. We need to preserve what’s left.

Who do restrictions apply to?
The restrictions will apply to all commercial and non-domestic water users that use water from the Auckland metropolitan supply network. This includes those Pukekohe, Patumahoe, Clarks Beach, Glenbrook Beach, and all other metropolitan areas from Waiwera to Drury and Huia Village.

Click here to view the metropolitan water supply map

Who is exempt from restrictions?

  • The restrictions do not apply to businesses operating in the rural townships of Waiuku, Helensville, Bombay, Murawai, Snells Algies, Wellsford and Warkworth because they have local water sources.
  • The restrictions do not apply if you are using non-potable/untreated water and are therefore not connected to the metropolitan supply network.


What are the restrictions for commercial water users?
Commercial water users cannot:

  • Connect a hose or water blasting device to the metropolitan supply network unless it is for health, safety, emergency or biosecurity reasons
  • ​Operate a car wash unless it uses recycled water
  • Water sports fields, plants or paddocks unless they have an irrigation system that is fitted with soil moisture or rain sensors.


What are the rules for the outdoor cleaning industry?
You can:

  • Fill up a bucket of water from an outdoor tap to clean windows
  • Operate as you normally would when the job is being carried out for genuine health and safety purposes (for example, using a water blasting device to remove moss from a slippery driveway)
  • Use non-potable (untreated) water from a tanker, rain tank or bore.
You cannot:
  • Use a hose or water blasting device to clean a building or roof when connected to the metropolitan water supply network.


What are the rules for the construction industry?
You can:

  • Use a water blasting device on a surface to prevent slipping
  • Use non-potable (untreated) water from a tanker, bore or rain tank/stormwater source for construction activities.
You cannot:
  • Use a hose or water blasting device to clean a building or roof when that device is connected to the metropolitan supply network
  • Use potable (treated drinking) water for dust suppression.


What are the rules for the automotive and marine industry?
You can:

  • Wash vehicles or boats using buckets of water
  • Wash vehicles or boats using a non-potable (untreated) water supply from a bore, tanker or rainwater tank.
You cannot:
  • Wash vehicles or boats using hoses and water blasters connected to your Watercare supply
  • Operate drive-through car washes unless they use recycled water.

What are the rules for the agricultural industry?
You can:
  • Water plants with a bucket or watering can
  • Water plants using an irrigation system that is fitted with a soil moisture sensor or rain sensor
  • Water blast surfaces to prevent slips
  • Use a non-potable (untreated) water source, like a rainwater tank.
You cannot:
  • Use hoses and regular sprinklers for watering plants or fields

What are the rules for sports clubs and all fields?
You can:
  • Water fields using an irrigation system that is fitted with a soil moisture sensor or rain sensor
  • Water fields or gardens using a non-potable (untreated) water source, like a rainwater tank, stormwater or bore supply
  • Water blast surfaces to prevent slips.
You cannot:
  • Water fields and plants using hoses or regular sprinklers
  • Use a hose or water blasting device to clean a surface, building or roof for aesthetic reasons when connected to the metropolitan supply network.

What are the rules for the carpet cleaning industry?
You can:
  • Collect/use water from taps located inside or outside the home/facility so long as you do not use a hose to do so.


What is considered a valid health, safety, emergency or biosecurity reason for using an outdoor hose or water blasting device?
This could include a number of scenarios ie: the prevention of slips, or cleaning in preparation for return to work after COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown.

Can I use a standpipe?
We have suspended access to our fire hydrants. This means you cannot use your standpipe to access water until further notice. At this stage we are not recalling standpipes and will trust that you support Auckland’s water savings efforts by refraining from using them. Your hireage contract will be put on hold and extended by the duration of the suspension when restrictions are lifted. Anyone found to be using a standpipe while restrictions are in place will have it confiscated immediately.

What should I do if I see someone wasting water?
It would be great if you could start a friendly conversation with them and explain that we are in a drought and everyone needs to use water wisely. Or you can click here to report water misuse.

How can I learn about using water wisely?
Our website www.waterforlife.org.nz has lots of tips on how to reduce your water use.

If I want more information about non-potable water sources who should I contact?
Please click here to visit the Auckland Council page or email nonpotablewater@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for more information.

If I see someone wasting water in the Papakura area (which is serviced by Veolia) who do I report this misuse to?
You will need to note down the date and address of where the water wastage took place and email nz-customerservice-water@veolia.com

If I have a question related to the drought or water restrictions, who do I contact?
Please email your enquiry to save-water@water.co.nz