Exemptions for Scheme Water Users       

The exemptions for scheme water customers are listed below.  Exemptions for non-scheme water such as garden bores can be found at the www.water.wa.gov.au  or call the Department of Water on 1800 508 885. 

Watering Exemptions

If you are establishing a lawn or garden and you need to water outside of your water roster allocated day and allowed times you must apply for a watering exemption.  Click here for a New Lawn Exemption application form.

Exemptions for New Lawns and New Gardens are issued only when the customer confirms that the lawn or garden has been planted. New Lawn can refer to roll on lawn, runners, shredded lawn and/or seed.

While the reticulation may be installed by a landscape contractor, builder or developer, the owner is held responsible for any breach of the exemption conditions.

Reticulation controllers must have an adequate battery back-up in case of interruption to the main power source. A loss of power is not a valid reason for any breach of exemption conditions.

What qualifies for an exemption

  • LAWNS - Must be laid as the whole of the lawn area - either front, back or side on corner blocks; it must be the total area that is going to be lawn. Gardens beds planted at the same time as laying the lawn are included in the lawn exemption.
  • VERGES - An exemption will be considered if the verge is greater than 50 square metres.
  • GARDENS - The gardens planted must be for the whole of the area and not just part of it. If you have existing lawn and have only put in garden beds, an exemption cannot be considered.

Some older reticulation systems do not have the function to pre-programme two specific watering days per week. We do not grant exemptions in these instances. You must take every step possible in order to comply with the water efficiency measures.

These garden watering measures do not apply to systems where recycled or grey water is used.

The following exemptions are granted automatically (in certain circumstances, please see detailed information below the following list): 

*        Exemptions for people in the turf, garden and landscaping industries

*        Garden bore maintenance

*        Caravan parks or camping ground sites

*        Indoor plants including glasshouses

*        Lawn tennis courts, turf wickets and bowling greens

*        Aviaries

*        Market gardens or plant nurseries

*        Synthetic sporting grounds

*        Fire fighting

Exemptions for people in the turf, garden and landscaping industries:

Installation, repair and testing of reticulation systems; a person, during the course of their employment in the turf, garden or landscaping industries can operate a reticulation system to the minimum extent necessary while the reticulation system is being installed, maintained, tested or repaired. The ‘minimum extent necessary’ is considered to involve limiting testing to a maximum of two minutes per station.

Applying wetting agents and fertilisers (includes verti-mowing); a person, during the course of employment in the turf, garden and landscaping industries, can apply 10 mm of water immediately after the application of fertilisers, wetting agents or verti-mowing.

This exemption is not available to general customers who are expected to carry out these activities and watering on their allocated day and within the allowed times.

Garden bore maintenance

Bore owners can maintain their reticulation systems throughout winter. Maintenance is limited to a maximum of two minutes per station, once per week.

Caravan parks or camping ground sites

A person can water a caravan park or camping ground site immediately after it has been vacated.  A standard drink of 10 mm is permitted.

Indoor plants including glasshouses

The use of a mist spray for up to one minute four times a day may be utilised for indoor plants including glasshouses. 

Lawn tennis courts, turf wickets and bowling greens

For scheme water users, managers of grassed covered sporting grounds in any town south of (and including) Kalbarri and Kalgoorlie can water using a reticulation system for one additional day per week (before 9am and after 6pm).  This means that these uses have three watering days each week all year around.


Aviary keepers may activate sprinklers to cool birds kept in cages.

Market gardens or plant nurseries

Market gardens or plant nurserys may be watered to the minimum extent necessary to ensure the viable operation of the market garden or plant nursery.

Synthetic sporting grounds

Synthetic sporting surfaces may be watered for 10 minutes before an activity is played or practiced on a sporting ground.

Fire fighting

Water use to the minimum extent necessary may be utilised for fire fighting or training for fire fighting.