Household Water Saving Tips
There are many simple little things we can do around the home to save water, money and help the environment. Installing a rainwater tank and control device is one thing, but it is really up to the individual actions of our day-to-day lifestyle that can make a difference. These tips are for some clever shortcuts to savings.
Be Water Wise and Save Water !
Save water in the kitchen with a rainwater pump
- Check for leaks in taps, pipes and dishwasher hoses. It is an easy way to reduce water wastage. Remember, one leaking tap can waste more than 2,000 litres a month.
- Prevent taps from leaking by turning taps off lightly and replace washers as soon as they begin to leak.
- Avoid rinsing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Collect the water you use for rinsing foods such as fruit and vegetables and re-use it to water house plants.
- Put the plug in the sink when washing your hands instead of holding them under running water.
Food & Beverage
- Don’t use running water to thaw food
- Thaw frozen foods before you need them or use the microwave instead of placing them under running water.
- Designate one glass to drink water from each day
- The most water efficient methods for cooking vegetables are microwaving, steaming or using a pressure cooker. You can also cut down on water loss by using tight lids on pots and simmering instead of boiling rapidly.
- Keep a container of water in the fridge so that you won’t need to run the water down the sink until it’s cool enough to drink.
- Automatic dishwashers can use up to 40 litres of water per load. By using a dishwasher with at least a 3 star/AAA rating1, you can get this figure down to 18 litres per load and still get the kind of sparkling clean dishes you’re used to.
- It’s best to wait until you have a full load in your dishwasher before using it. This saves water and energy, and reduces the amount of detergent entering the sewerage system.
Save water in the bathroom
- Before you lather up, install a low flow shower head which helps to save your family more than 1800 litres a week.
- Take short showers. Soap up, wash down, rinse off.
- A bath uses less water than a long shower and you save on hot water costs at the same time.
- A shower = 20 litres per minute eg: 5 minutes = 100 litres.
If you spend 2 minutes less in the shower. You’ll save over 425 litres a month
- Plug the bathtub before turning the water on and then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up
- Turn off the water while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 180 litres a week.
- Installing one of the latest 3 star/AAA rating shower heads can give you a great shower and save you around 10 litres of water a minute. They also save you energy costs, as you’ll use less hot water.
- Don’t leave the tap running while brushing your teeth. Use a glass of water to rinse.
- Running the basin tap = 15 litres a minute.
- Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. In a family of four this will save an average of 94 litres a week.
- While having a shave don’t leave the tap running – instead use the plug and half fill the sink to rinse. If you use this method or turn off the water while you shave, you can save more than 250 litres a week. A running basin tap uses 15 litres a minute. To rinse your razor, run a little water into a plugged sink. Rinsing your razor under a running tap wastes lots of water.
- Connect Water switch to use rainwater in your toilet, reducing the level of mains water consumption in your bathroom.
- Install a dual flush system and always use the half flush. Alternatively purchase and install a flow restrictor from the hardware store so that your system only uses half the amount of water.
- Full toilet flush = 9 litres of water for every full flush
- Half flush toilet = 4.5 litres of water for every flush
- Put food colouring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl you have a leak. Get the leak fixed and you can save more than 2250 litres a month.
- Get the leak fixed. This hidden water uses up to 16,000 litres a year.
Save water in the laundry
- Save water washing clothes
- Most washing machines have a load adjustment button or dial, so try to set this to match the amount of washing you’re doing. If your machine doesn’t have a load adjustment function, try to wait until you have enough washing for a full load.
- Try to use phosphate-free, eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products – there’s a great range to choose from these days and they’re much better for our environment.
- Divert washing machine rinse water onto your garden.
- Remember to regularly clean the lint filter on your washing machine to avoid repeating the wash cycle.
Save water in the Garden
- Regularly check outdoor taps, pipes and plumbing fixtures for leaks. Installing water efficient taps or tap aerators is an inexpensive way to cut your water usage without you even noticing. Save water when you wet the garden
- Just one dripping tap can waste 2,000 litres a month.
- If you need a watering system consider installing a drip irrigation system. It will cut wastage by making sure the water goes only where you need it.
- Use rainwater to give your garden a good soaking every now and then with a hand-held hose. This will help make your lawn more drought resistant by encouraging deeper roots.
- It’s best to water the roots and soil around plants rather than spraying the leaves and flowers.
- Watering your garden in the cool of the early morning or in the evening reduces water loss through evaporation.
- Take some time to relax in your garden and water by hand with a can or trigger nozzle. It’s one of the best ways to make sure your plants get just the right amount of water.
- Watering a level garden for longer, but less often, promotes deeper roots and hardier, healthier, drought tolerant plants. Remember to only use a hand-held hose or watering can or install drip irrigation. (About 12 millimetres of water an hour is enough for most sessions.)
- When planting new garden beds, group plants with similar watering needs together.
Paths, patios and driveways must never be hosed. Use a broom, rake or outdoor blower or vacuum instead.
- When washing your car, park it on the lawn and use a bucket for washing and rinsing. This way you can save water, as well as water and fertilise your lawn – car shampoos use phosphates that are similar to many fertilisers.
All information above is provided as suggestions only. The information has been formulated using a collaboration of tips from various water saving resources. Please check with your local water authority on water restrictions within your areas as this may contradict tips listed above.