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Overnight rain has raised the level of the Waingawa River, enabling Masterton District Council to ease water restrictions to allow sprinklers to be used on alternate days.

The Waingawa is the source of Masterton’s drinking water and restrictions are put in place to protect the health of the river at times of low flow.

The restriction on sprinkler use is in place until the end of summer – the end of March – with a complete sprinkler ban, and only handheld hoses allowed, if river flow rates fall below 1,300 l/s. A total watering ban would be necessary if the river falls below 1,100 litres per second.

The Council aims to be responsive to changes in river flow and ease restrictions whenever this is possible.