A file photo of Lavertys Gap Weir, water supply for Mullumbimby.
A file photo of Lavertys Gap Weir, water supply for Mullumbimby.

Mullum could face water restrictions if rain doesn’t arrive

MULLUMBIMBY residents could soon be under water restrictions, Byron Shire Council has warned.

The council has asked to be vigilant with their water use because the levels at Lavertys Gap Weir, which feeds the town’s water supply, is close to triggering Level 1 restrictions.

This caution from the council comes just three days into summer, while Tweed Shire Council is about to put in force Level 2 restrictions in the village of Tyalgum and Richmond Valley Council has warned restrictions are on the cards in that area as well this summer.

Byron Shire Council’s director of infrastructure services Phil Holloway said the flow from Wilsons Creek into Lavertys Gap Weir had been steadily declining over the past month.

He said it was close to zero flows at present.

“This time last year Mullumbimby was already on Level 1 water restrictions and we saw restrictions escalate quickly to Level 3 and 4,” Mr Holloway said.

“The wet season has not arrived as predicted so it’s essential we start modifying our water use now to avoid tighter water restrictions during the peak holiday season.”

He said the council was closely monitoring the flows and rainfall, and would continue to keep the community informed.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast December to February will be wetter than average for most of Australia, but the council will activate restrictions if levels continue to drop and rain doesn’t arrive.

“Lavertys Gap Weir is extremely responsive to rainfall events but it can also experience sudden and substantial drops as well,” Mr Holloway said.

“We are asking people to be prepared and voluntarily conserve water where possible, especially with regards to outdoor water use.”

If Level 1 water restrictions are implemented, this would involve:

  • No watering of established lawns using sprinklers or fixed hoses.
  • Watering of gardens with a handheld hose (for 1 hour) or irrigation system (15 minute max) between 4pm and 9am every second day, according to your house number. Odd house numbers on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and so on. Even house numbers on the 2nd, 4th, 6th and so on.
  • All hoses must be fitted with on/off nozzles

The rest of the Byron Shire’s reticulated water supply comes from Rous County Council, from the Rocky Creek and Emigrant Creek dams system.

Rocky Creek dam is currently 90 per cent full and RCC will bring in restrictions when that level decreases to below 60 per cent.