In response to ongoing drought conditions, the South Australian Government constantly assesses availability and use of our water supplies. From time to time water restrictions are necessary to help conserve our water reserves including the River Murray.
Water restrictions can impact on activities such as the watering of gardens and lawns, car washing, the filling of pools and spas and washing of areas such as paving, decking and external house structures.
With simple measures to maintain hygiene and appropriate use of alternative water supplies there should be minimal risk to health.
Water conservation, things you need to know
While water conservation measures are important, they shouldn’t create a risk to public health. In most cases water conservation practices can be safely and effectively undertaken however consideration must be given to potential public health impacts of certain activities.
Basic hygiene must be maintained. This can be achieved while complying with water restrictions providing simple measures are adopted. In certain circumstances where public health is at risk, SA Water may allow exemptions from restrictions.
Greywater is wastewater generated from bathrooms, laundries and kitchens. Kitchen water can contain food particles, grease, oils and fats and is generally not recommended for use. See the Greywater page for potential risks when using greywater as well as how and where you can safely use greywater.
Sharing of bath water
Bathing children together or sharing bathwater is a common family practice. While this activity saves water and is harmless when people are well, there is a risk of spreading illness if bath water is shared when a person is suffering from an infectious disease or diarrhoea.
Bath water should not be shared while a person has infectious diarrhoea and for 14 days after symptoms have stopped.
Diseases such as Cryptosporidiosis can be spread from swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
Pools and spas
It’s important that pools and spas are maintained correctly including water replacement to ensure that water quality remains safe for use.
Pools and spas can be safely filled with:
mains water - unless restrictions prevent this
rainwater - provided the tank and catchment area are properly maintained
Bore or surface water is not appropriate for filling pools and spas unless the water has been tested and/or treated. See the following pages for information on how to safely maintain your pool of spa:
Wading pools need to be used in accordance with any water restrictions in place. Leaving water in wading pools for later use can help save water but may create a health and safety risk.
Take the safest option and empty the wading pool after use and refil it next time. The water can be used to water plants, lawns or for washing the car.
Don't share or reuse the water after a child with diarrhoea has used the pool. Also do not allow water to become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Collection of water in buckets or similar devices
Although the collection of buckets of greywater or rainwater is encouraged as a means of water conservation, it is important to recognise the risks of storing water.
Parents should be aware that water stored in oversized buckets, wheelie bins or other devices can become a drowning hazard for young children. These containers should be emptied between uses or secure barriers to prevent access by children should be installed.
Water stored outdoors can provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Water containers should be inspected for larvae regularly and emptied every few days to prevent adult mosquitoes from hatching. Storages should have secure lids to prevent mosquito breeding.
For further information on water restrictions, including ways to help conserve water, contact:
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.