Gardens & pools

Greater Sydney is in drought and we all need to help 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

Following some simple water saving tips when using and maintaining your pool will ensure you can enjoy your pool and still save water:

  • Concentrate on keeping water in the pool.
  • Discourage pool users from 'bombing'.
  • Don't continually get in and out of the pool.
Water restrictions now apply
Make sure you check the current water restrictions, which affect how you can use and maintain your pool or spa.

Reducing evaporation

Evaporation is a major cause of water loss from swimming pools and spas. There are a number of ways you can help reduce evaporation from your pool:

  • Using a pool cover can reduce evaporation from 40 to 90% depending on which ones you buy.
  • Using a liquid pool cover creates a chemical barrier on the water's surface reducing evaporation by up to 40%.
  • Using pool blankets can be more affordable and ifused with a roller they can be easily removed before pool use, then spread again after you have finished swimming for the day.
  • Increasing shade over your pool will reduce evaporation and protect swimmers from harsh sunrays.
  • Reduce wind exposure by adding walls and hedges around your pool to shelter it from the wind.

Reduce backwash on your filter

Sand filters require backwashing, which can use up to 8,000 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.
  • Avoid overfilling your pool. This 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.

Fixing leaks

Leaks not only waste water, they can undermine the foundations of your pool. It makes sense to keep an eye on potential leaks and have them repaired as soon as you can.

Do-it-yourself check:

  • Walk around the edge of the pool and check the area between the pool and the equipment pad. Look for wet or eroded areas.
  • Inspect the plumbing and watch for obvious leaks.
  • Check whether running the filter affects any water loss.
  • Check the surface of the pool, look for cracks or tears. Inspect the tile line and inside the skimmer box.
  • Check the lighting as underwater lights are often the source of leaks.

To find out more about water savings and maintaining your pool visit the Swimming Pool & Spa Association website

For more tips on saving water, visit the Smart Approved Watermark website.

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.