Motorists will be given more time to wash their cars when permanent water restrictions are introduced in Orange.
The new restrictions will start when the city's water storage level reaches 80 per cent (currently it's 62.4 per cent) and will closely follow the current Level 2 restrictions.
They limit people to watering their gardens only every second day.
Orange City Council backed the new rules on Tuesday night.
Car owners can only wash their car at home with a bucket and a trigger hose-rinse from 9am-noon every day but that will be freed up with the new rules.
People aren't going to go out at 9am and wash their car and say at 3 o'clock 'I might sneak out and wash the car again now.Cr Glenn Taylor
And residents will get one day a year in which they can wash down hard surfaces including cleaning dust from walls and concrete.
Cr Glenn Taylor said the time limit on car washing was too restrictive.
"A lot of people might wash their cars when they knock off from work in the afternoon or they might do it on an afternoon on a Saturday or a Sunday," he said.
"People aren't going to go out at 9am and wash their car and say at 3 o'clock 'I might sneak out and wash the car again now'.
"They are only going to wash the car once a week or whenever it might be. It won't have any direct effect on water usage but it will give people freedom of the time when they want to wash those vehicles."
Cr Stephen Nugent said a set time should be maintained.
"I would be open to the idea of maybe making it 4pm-8pm or 4pm-7pm," he said.
"Part of the idea was not to be using water, or trying to limit the use of water during those hot periods of the day between 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock."
Cr Nugent also asked whether council staff could enforce the permanent water saving rules.
Technical services director Ian Greenham said officers would be able to monitor any abuse of the system by residents. He said people could be fined "at any time" for misuse of water.
Mr Greenham said one company had been fined during the drought but others had responded to requests from council officers.
Earlier in the night a call by Cr Scott Munro to remove all water restrictions for several months, ahead of a review in February, was defeated.
Cr Munro said it should be seen as a reward for the way residents had responded to water restrictions and limited usage.
However other councillors said while water supplies were now well up on what had been a few months ago limiting usage was still vital.
They said council needed to be prepared for the next drought by shoring up storage levels.
Council was told water usage levels had not increased significantly in Orange since the reduction of restrictions from Level 5 to Level 2 during this year.
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