Tips & Advice

Where does my water come from? Illawarra, Sutherland Shire, Shoalhaven

With 100 per cent of NSW officially in drought in August last year, water restrictions have affected many Illawarra, Sutherland Shire and Shoalhaven residents. In 2019, our water authorities will again face the prospect of diminishing water supplies and the need to impose restrictions.

Between them the Sydney Water and Shoalhaven Water authorities have the responsibility for supplying water to the Illawarra, Sutherland Shire and Shoalhaven regions, treating used water and dispersing the treated water.

The operations of Sydney Water, Australia’s largest water utility, cover 12,700 square kilometres, and extend from Sydney  to the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains regions. Average daily water demand is 1.5 billion litres, provided to more than 1.8 million homes and businesses.

Shoalhaven Water is part of the City of Shoalhaven Council, which covers 4567 square kilometres and includes Nowra, Berry, Kiama, Sussex Inlet, Kangaroo Valley, Ulladulla and Lake Conjola. Shoalhaven Water provides more than 45 million litres of water daily to more than 48,000 homes and businesses.

If you live in the Illawarra, Sutherland Shire and Shoalhaven regions, you may be wondering how water authorities keep you informed of water supply levels and restrictions, and what new actions they will take to conserve our water resources.

How to find out about water restrictions

The Bureau of Meteorology website provides  current water restrictions information for Sydney and other parts of Australia, including the Eurobodalla area, which is currently under Level 2 restrictions.

The Sydney Water and Shoalhaven Water websites provide further details on local water restrictions, including announcements, for example when a level one restriction has been lifted.

What do the Water Restriction Levels Mean?

Especially in regional areas, water authorities may refer to Restrictions as ‘Level One’ or ‘Level Two’, and up to Level Five – Emergency Level. As a general guide, Levels One to Three in the Shoalhaven area may include the following restrictions:

Sprinklers, irrigation and unattended hoses:    

Level 1:   No sprinklers at any time; drippers only

Level 2:   No sprinklers at any time; drippers only

Level 3:   No sprinklers at any time; drippers only

Hand-watering gardens and lawns:    


Level 1:  No weekly limit,

Level 2:   3 times weekly, before 10am or after 4pm

Level 3:   2 times weekly, before 10am or after 4pm

Washing of vehicles, boats and caravans: 


Level 1:  No weekly limit. Wash on grassed surface

Level 2:  3 times weekly, before 10am or after 4pm.

Level 3:   Wash on grassed surface 2 times weekly, before 10am or after 4pm.

Topping up existing swimming pools:   

Level 1:   No restrictions if hand-held hose or hose fixed to a timer.

Level 2:    No filling pools over 10,000L without permit

Level 3:    No filling pools over 10,000L without permit

Washing down paved areas or Hard surfaces:  

Level 1:   No hosing hard surfaces (paths, driveways, floors and buildings)

Level 2:   No hosing hard surfaces (paths, driveways, floors and buildings)

Level 3:   No hosing hard surfaces (paths, driveways, floors and buildings)


Water restrictions are pegged to the levels of the Bamarang Dam, which is the main water supply for the Shoalhaven. Level One Water restrictions began in the Shoalhaven areas in September 2018. The Level One restriction was lifted in December.

If your property is connected to town water and you also have a tank installed, water restrictions will still apply regardless.

Note that restrictions do not apply where your property is not connected to town water and you have a water tank, or if bore water is being pumped direct to gardens or lawns.

Find out about current restrictions at

Sydney metropolitan areas and the Illawarra

In Sydney the Water Wise Rules, “commonsense actions” designed for prolonged dry weather, came in place during June 2009, and these are permanently in place.  Sydney Water advises you can:

  • water lawns and gardens with a sprinkler, irrigation system or hose fitted with a trigger nozzle any day before 10 am and after 4 pm
  • use sprinklers or watering systems to establish new lawn and gardens at any time for the first 14 days
  • use water to cool people and animals
  • hose paths, driveways and other hard surfaces for safety, health, emergency, construction or surface discoloration reasons only
  • wash vehicles, trailers, boats or buildings using a bucket, high pressure cleaning equipment or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle
  • use bore water, recycled water or rainwater (as long as the tank isn’t topped up from the drinking water supply). Some government restrictions apply to bore water and water extracted from rivers, so always check with your local council or WaterNSW.
  • use water for fire-fighting or to test fire systems.

What new measures are being introduced to conserve water and boost supplies in the Illawarra, Sutherland Shire and Shoalhaven?

Shoalhaven reclaims water for farms and sportsfields

The Shoalhaven Water’s Reclaimed Water Management Scheme (REMS) has grown into one of the largest and most complex schemes of its kind undertaken by a regional water authority in Australia.

The Scheme provides:

  • reclaimed water for beneficial purposes rather than being disposed into the environment
  • high quality irrigation water to the region’s farmers to improve their sustainability
  • sufficient water to irrigate local sporting facilities and golf courses

So far, more than 20,000 megalitres have been beneficially reused through the REMS, about 70% of the reclaimed water produced.

The scheme REMS 1B is at its half way mark and a decision on the river crossing linking the Nowra and Bomaderry sewage treatment plants was pending in March 2019.  Construction of new facilities at Bomaderry and Nowra sewage treatment plants (STPs) is approximately 50% complete and the design of a transfer main under the Shoalhaven River to connect the two plants has also been undertaken.

Greater Sydney turns brine into water

In Sydney, the desalination plant at Kurnell can provide up to 15% of drinking water needs when fully operational. A situation where the total dam storage levels dip below 60% is the trigger to commence restart procedures and the plant was switched on from 27 January 2019. It has been given eight months to restart and will operate for at least 14 months.


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Steve Taylor
December 4, 2023
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The team were on time, very professional and I was informed of all that was to be done before and during and then a summary at the end of the job. We were very impressed. Thank you also for replacing our old gas hot water system so quickly
December 4, 2023
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Excellent professional service and work completed quickly and without any incidence. All work was carried out in a timely and expedient manner and workmen were very courteous
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November 30, 2023
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Lee Jourdain
November 29, 2023
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Curran were out within an hour of my call. I was fully advised by the person on the end of the phone of their procedures and they communicated with me by text and email during my wait. The technician gave me 25 mins notice of his arrival. He advised me what he would be doing, the price, and when he was about to turn the power off. Fixed the problem in 20 mins. I was very impressed with their customer service.
Kathryn Hughes
November 22, 2023
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Same day service a bonus. On time and presented well. Explained everything well. Very happy with the service. I have used them in the past and will continue to use and recommend.
Ann Cameron
November 22, 2023
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I was very pleased & impressed with the quick service & politeness of this young men & also the way they cleaned up & put everything back the way it was ,I would definitely recommend Currans Plumbing to anyone.
November 20, 2023
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I have no hesitation in recommending Curran's to anyone needing repairs or installations in their homes. Top service and attention to detail; tradesmen are all polite, courteous and respectful. At every stage of the job they checked before going ahead if problems were discovered. Great work Currans!
Max Zalakos
November 18, 2023
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Brendan Nolan
November 16, 2023
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Shout out to the team at Curran's for the quick response and top-quality service!
Radu Bliuc
November 15, 2023
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Great service from Jake and CJ. Professional, punctual, efficient, great in communications the technical aspect of the job. Well done!
Brett T
November 14, 2023
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Explained the job. Professional and friendly. Great after sales service.
Onge Onge
November 9, 2023
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Guys did a great job in not so easy circumstances and short notice, very polite and professional. Answered any questions I had and kept us updated all the way. No problem recommending Curran for any plumbing work.
Belinda Dakin
November 7, 2023
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Levi was informative, did the job in a timely fashion and was a pleasure to have here.
HelloBeauty Home Salon
November 2, 2023
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These guys never disappoint.professional, courteous and transparent.I wish more tradies used this business model.
David Smith
November 2, 2023
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We had a blocked sewer. Communication with the organisation wad easy. I was kept informed about the job. Nathan was polite, well presented and had a great attitude. He explained what he would do and why. The job was done well, he explained what he did and what the result of his work was. He did a great job. Thanks
Narelle Lovell
November 2, 2023
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Very professional service would recommend highly
Dianne Hosa
October 31, 2023
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They were on time. They rung before coming as they said they would. They explained what they were doing before they started doing the work. They show me what they did and made sure everything was working efficiently before leaving.
Cheryl Harris
October 27, 2023
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I found the guys at Curran Electrical and Plumbing to be great, they were open really friendly and helpful. They did the job on time with no mess. I also found them to be honest. I thought I had to replace two lights in the bathroom however while installing the new ones we found another switch so I did not need them replaced after all and the quote was adjusted to reflect this.
Bryan Rugg
October 25, 2023
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I found the work that was completed was to an excellent quality. The workers were professional in their responses to questions and they were always on time.
Paul Blanden
October 25, 2023
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Excellent work from Josh & Hunter. Very professional, polite & great work. Greatly appreciated. Thank you
Jimmy's Burger Truck
October 23, 2023
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very professional service and friendly, knowledgeable staff. tidy workers that kept the business clean as they were working throughout the job. highly recommend !
October 18, 2023
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Very efficient and friendly service. I highly recommend these guys.
Jennifer Bean
October 16, 2023
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The contractors (both electrical and plumbing tradespeople) were personable and professional. It was great service, they arrived on time, checked each decision with me and worked hard. They were clean and tidy and treated my place respectfully.
Kevin Ryan
October 15, 2023
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Quick service and helpful staff both on the phone speaking to office staff and the young plumber who came to do the job
Michael C
October 10, 2023
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They assessed the job clearly, told us what was needed, and explained how they would work. They turned up on time, were polite, and did the work with a minimum of fuss.
Charlie Bell
October 6, 2023
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Curran were able to come to me at short notice after a sewer disaster. They kept me informed of timing and Jake the plumber was clearly knowledgeable and passionate about his trade. He was efficient, thorough and happy to answer questions and tell me why and what he was doing offering a practical solution to our ageing property’s plumbing needs. Thank you. I’ll be in touch
Tracy Webb
October 5, 2023
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Fast and efficient service with everything explained before the job was commenced. Professional and friendly which was very nice.
Jono Q
October 3, 2023
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Katrina Toland
September 25, 2023
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We use Curran's for any plumbing requirement we have. They communicate well and are conscious of the importance of everyone's time. I totally recommend their services.
Mitch Ashford
September 12, 2023
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My mother who's in her 80's needed her toilet fixed. Curran Plumbing and Electrical did everything perfectly. Service was fast, plumber did a great job after informing me of the several options I had. He was also polite, well mannered and friendly, taking the time to ensure I understood everything he did. Service was perfect and I highly recommend Curran Plumbing and Electrical
Merryn Wright
September 12, 2023
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Curran Plumbing & Electrical recently installed a new pump on my rainwater tank. I am very pleased with their work and also that they were able to do it within a few days of getting their quote. I also appreciated that when the quote was done that a video was taken of what needed to be done, so that whoever did the work knew what needed to be done.
August 26, 2023
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Had a new toilet installed and 6 taps replaced with ‘quarter turn’ taps to aid my arthritic fingers. Perfectly happy with the work and the very professional and friendly tradesmen. Gold stars to Luke, Josh and Jake
Jeff B
July 01, 2023
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Jake arrived on time, we talked thru our issue and he checked out our storm water problem. He was easily able to pinpoint our blockage and put together 2 quote options to rectify the fault. Jake is a good representative for the business👍
John Q
June 29, 2023
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Well done team. Great to finally meet a professional company. You guys responded quickly, found the problem, gave a respectable quote (unheard-of nowadays) and got the job done. This is the place to go if you have any electrical or plumbing needs. Thanks again Curran
Kelly S
June 28, 2023
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Sam was excellent. He was on time, polite, and did a fantastic and thorough job. He gave us detailed options for the job and we appreciated his honest and professional opinion. We will 100% use Curran plumbing again.
Dave P
June 04, 2023
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Sam was bang on time and fixed our septic issue very quickly. He also sent a camera up the pipes to ensure everything else was fine before leaving. We've enjoyed our ongoing relationship with Curran after they did some major works for us last year and our membership is well worth it.
John D
May 26, 2023
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The people doing the work were friendly, professional and informative and the work was carried out in a timely manner. You should be proud of the plumbing and electrical people who completed this work
Gordon M
July 18, 2022
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Currans supplied us with constant updating of the project and when completed arranged for an inspection of the completed works.
Mitchell F
July 16, 2022
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From the first phone call Curran plumbing services were professional, showed up on time for scheduled quote , then me updated when the job was going to be completed . On the day of install all of the staff were well trained , well spoken and installed my new instantaneous gas hot water system like they were installing it in their own home . The quality in detail to make sure I was satisfied didn’t go unnoticed. At the end of the day I feel like I have gained a plumber for life . 100% recommend.
InJect A Joint V
July 13, 2022
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Luke was a Complete Gentleman and he explained every detail to my wife and i!! On this basis we excepted his Quote on the Spot and told him to go ahead and install our Brand New Australian made Hot Water System!! It was all Done that afternoon with Expert Precision d we had Hot water by 4pm!! Absolutely Marvellous Well Done! Sid you should be Very Proud of the Workmanship that Luke Performed!!
Brian D
July 13, 2022
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From my first contact with your company to completion of the job was only a few days tree roots in the sewer pipes gone, big thanks to your team.
David Collins
July 11, 2022
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Hi it's Dave from Dapto for Block drain problem, Part of Sewer drain renewal and ground was leveled nice & looks good, kitchen drain came apart and was reconnected all services where friendly and good communication excellent work. Thank you
Kingfisher Maritime
July 10, 2022
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I found Josh from Curren Plumbing to be very honest and trustworthy in the work he carried out at my home. Josh communicated everything he was going to do and the results of these actions in a manner I was able to understand. I was happy with the work Josh did at my home.

Plumbing, Electrical, Heating & Air

Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Sutherland Shire

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