RESIDENTS who refuse to comply with extreme water restrictions from October will risk having the water to their property cut off by Bathurst Regional Council.
That will be the ultimate sanction under a range of penalties to go before council on Wednesday night.
A report to councillors by environmental planning and building services director Neil Southorn advises that the imminent introduction of Level 4-5 water restrictions on Monday, October 14 has prompted a review of possible penalties.
Proposed changes to council's enforcement policy will include a range of sanctions that begin with a verbal warning or letter for first offences up to disconnection for repeated or serious breaches.
"However, it is anticipated that most breaches can be managed with actions such as verbal or written warnings, with the issue of Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) only for repeat offenders," the report states.
"Based on feedback from the community during the implementation of Level 3 restrictions, it is apparent that there is a community expectation that restrictions are enforced.
"Therefore, it is appropriate that feedback is sought on the proposed changes to the enforcement policy."
The full range of sanctions includes:
- A verbal warning for minor breaches believed to arise from "genuine ignorance" of the water restrictions.
- A warning letter for minor but deliberate breaches.
- A penalty notice where a warning has been previously given or in cases of more significant and deliberate breaches.
- A court attendance notice In serious breaches of water restrictions or in cases of repeated deliberate offending.
- The installation of an electronic meter on a property to allows for more accurate monitoring of water use.
- The installation of a flow restriction device on a property in the case of repeated breaches.
- Disconnection from council's water supply in the case of the most serious breaches where other enforcement action has failed.