No-Brainer Ways You Could be Saving Water
Water is a natural commodity that, due to its ready availability, is often taken for granted. Unless there’s a drought and water restrictions come into play, changing the way we use water doesn’t tend to be a priority. But we don’t have an endless supply of fresh water.
Around 97 per cent of the water on earth is salt water, and of the 3 per cent of fresh water, 2 per cent is stored in glaciers! You guessed it, that leaves a mere 1 per cent available for drinking water. Even without this incentive to preserve our precious resource, none of us want to throw money away on water bills that are unnecessarily high. Employ these room-by-room tips and you’ll cut your water bills without feeling a thing.
How many of you clean your teeth every day? And how many of you leave the tap running during the entire cleaning process? If you leave the tap running, you use about 18 litres of water per minute and, depending on how much time you take in doing so, it can add up to 36 litres per clean. Turn off the tap while you brush and you could save around 10,000 litres of water a year.
We can save around half the water we consume at home by fitting a showerhead rated at least three-stars. A three-star showerhead uses a maximum of nine litres per minute. Conventional showerheads use around 18 litres per minute!
The average person who showers for about seven to eight minutes will save around 23,000 litres a year, and the typical family of four an incredible 920,000 litres of water a year. If you think this number’s big, can you can imagine how much we’d save overall if every household were fitted with these devices?
The half-flush systems should use at most 9 litres per full flush, and no more than 4.5 litres for a half flush. You don’t have to buy a completely new toilet to take advantage of these savings. Simply go to your local plumbing or hardware store and purchase a new dual-flush cistern.
WATERWISE TIPS: Buying a new dishwasher? Check the star rating. The higher the star rating, the more economical they are to operate. Most modern dishwashers also come with additional water saving buttons: Eco Wash, Quick Wash or Fast Wash settings vastly reduce the amount of water required for the cleaning cycle, and that means reduced bills for you.
A dripping tap. It’s that irritating noise you hear at night that many people seem to ignore until the drip becomes a trickle. Depending on how frequent the drip is, dripping taps can cause a loss of any anywhere from 27 to 198 litres of water per day. These are the leaks we hear, but what about the ones we don’t hear – the leaking pipes? These leaks are even bigger consumers of water. A single leak can consume above 99 litres of water per day, just from a tiny pipe fracture.
WATERWISE TIP: If you feel you might have a leaking pipe, the best thing to do is to turn off all your internal and external taps and go and watch the dial on your water meter. If the numbers continue to circulate, then the chances of a leak are high. Have your local plumber come to inspect and test your lines.
Also consider planting drought-tolerant species such as stonecrops and succulents – they require much less water to thrive.
If you own a pool, make sure to install a pool cover to minimise evaporation, because a large amount of water will be naturally evaporated every day without it.
Pool evaporation rates will depend on climatic zones, winds and temperatures, so before you assume your pool has a leak, consider that an average pool could lose around 300 litres of water per day in a hot area like the Northern Territory. A pool cover can reduce this amount by up to 95 per cent.