Water Saving Tips
Top 10 Tips
In the Home
In the Garden
Top 10 Tips
Top 10 water saving tips:
- Limit your showers to 4 minutes or less (have a radio on whilst in the shower and when the song has finished you should be too)
- Install a water efficient showerhead (WELS rated 3 star or above)
- Catch water that you would normally waste with containers and use on indoor plants or in the garden
- Don't leave the tap running when brushing your teeth
- Check for leaks
- Install a dual flush toilet
- Don't flush rubbish
- Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with a full load
- Use flow regulators and single lever mix taps
- Insulate hot water pipes
In the Home
Take shorter showers
22% of total household water use is used in the shower, and much of it is heated, so you're using power too.
Limit your showers to 4 minutes or less, this is plenty of time to get clean. Conventional showers use an average 12 litres of water per minute so even reducing your shower time by a few minutes adds up to a lot of water over a year. Shower timers are a great way to remind you to limit shower times.
Install a water efficient showerhead
Installing a new low flow showerhead that is water efficient (WELS rated 3 star or above) will enable you to enjoy a good pressure shower, while saving you up to 3 litres of water a minute.
Catch the cold water
We nearly all waste water while we wait for the hot tap to warm up. Why not keep containers handy near your sinks and showers and use the water you would usually waste, on indoor plants or the garden.
Don't leave the tap running while brushing your teeth
A running tap uses about 8 litres of water per minute. Simply wet your toothbrush before you begin. If you regularly keep the tap running while cleaning your teeth you could be using up to 11,500 litres per year. Use a cup and you could save nearly all this water.
When buying a bathtub or basins
Deep, narrow basins use less water than shallow, wide ones and a basin with a smaller surface area also saves on hot water by reducing the cooling rate. Basins can be fitted with pop-up plugs, which stay closed until a lever or button is pressed. These discourage leaving taps running as the basin quickly fills.
As with hand basins, select a bathtub that is deep and narrow. Have it fully insulated to retain water temperature. This can be achieved with a bed of fibreglass batts. Ask your builder to insulate it as your bathroom is being fitted out.
Fix your leaking loo
Leaking toilets are the most common leak and can waste up to 25 litres a day. To check your cistern for a leak, place a few drops of food colouring in the tank. Without flushing it, look for colouring in the toilet bowl. If it's getting through, you've got a leak, and it's time to call a licensed Waterwise Plumber.
Install a dual flush system
Toilets use around 9% of total household water use. Replacing a standard single flush toilet with a dual flush system could save 90 litres a day.
If you're building or replacing the entire toilet (the pan and cistern), 6/3 litre and 4.5/3 litre dual flush units are the most water efficient (a minimum WELS star rating of 3). If you're just replacing the cistern choose a 9/4.5 litre dual flush cistern to suit older style toilet pans.
Don't flush rubbish
The toilet uses a lot of water in the home, between 3 and 11 litres for every half or full flush. Flushing away cigarette butts, tissues and other rubbish wastes a lot of water and can cause problems in the sewerage or septic system.
Check for leaks
Save up to 30 litres a day by repairing leaks in and around your home. Water leaks can be extremely wasteful and costly.
Only run your washing machine when you have a full load
Only run your washing machines on a full load as they can use up to 120 litres each wash.
When purchasing a new washing machine, compare the water and energy use of different brands and choose the most efficient machine that fits your budget. A WELS rated 4 star rated model uses 41% less water than a onventional washing machine.
Front loading machines generally use less water than top loaders of the same size. Use water level controls, suds savers or different wash cycles if available to save water for particular kinds of loads. Low rinse and low detergent options are also recommended.
Run your dishwasher only when it is full
Even a dishwasher with a low water use rating can use the equivalent of two sinks of water per wash. Older models can use even more, up to 20 litres.
If buying a new dishwasher, look for a model that is WELS rated 4.5 star or above.
Use flow regulators and single lever mixer taps
Save water with single lever mixer taps. The lever action mixes hot and cold water and allows you to find the right water temperature quickly, so you won’t waste water. For a bathroom tap look for a minimum WELS star rating of 6. When looking for a kitchen or laundry tap, a minimum WELS star rating of 4 is considered water efficient.
A flow regulator can also help reduce water use by up to 50% by allowing water to flow at set rates, while also providing softer water with less splashing.
High water pressure increases flow rates from showers and taps. To help you save water a Licensed Waterwise Plumber can fit a pressure reduction valve at your property boundary.
For cold water keep a jug of water in the fridge. You will always have cold water on hand and will not waste water while waiting for cold water out of the tap.
Insulate hot water pipes
Insulating hot water pipes can save water and power by retaining water heat and reducing the need to flush out cold water from hot water taps.
Water saving choices for new homes
When planning a house, locate the hot water system and bathrooms, ensuites, laundry and kitchen as close to each other as possible. This reduces initial plumbing costs and saves water and energy by reducing the flushing of cold water from hot water taps.
In the Garden
Improve your soil
Healthy soil means your plants will be more drought resistant and need less water.
Adding organic matter, such as animal manures, worm farm residue, bagged soil improvers and soil conditioners are all great soil improvers.
The easiest time to improve soil is when planting new plants - be sure to mix it through the top 30cm of soil.
Give your garden a makeover
Autumn is a great time to refresh your garden, new plants will have plenty of time to establish in the cooler weather in time for summer.
Choose plants that are adapted to our climate and need a lot less water with our Waterwise Plants for WA directory.
Click the link to visit the Water Corporation Website to obtain a list of Waterwise Plants specific to the Gascoyne Region.
Apply 5 - 10cm of mulch to your garden
A good water saving mulch can reduce evaporation and is enormously beneficial for all plants. A way to check if mulch is waterwise is if it hurts bare feet when you walk on it.
- When choosing mulch look for products displaying the Waterwise Approved and Smart Approved WaterMark symbols.
- Avoid soft non-waterwise mulch, as it is composed of fine materials that can pack down to make an absorbent, impenetrable layer that prevents water movement through to the soil.
In addition to saving water, other benefits of mulch include:
- It will protect and improve your soil.
- Reduce plant stress.
- Reduce weed growth.
- Prevent wind and water erosion.
- Improve the appearance of your garden area.
Water and Irrigation Systems
- Only water either before 9am or after 6pm. It is generally best to water in the morning which allows the water to soak to the roots and be available to the plant throughout the day when they need it most.
- For pop up sprinklers, keep to 10 minutes per station. Different types of sprinklers have different watering rates and therefore different run times.
- Replace worn nozzles and broken seals and make sure you are not wasting water - water the garden and not the road.
- During winter, your irrigation system should be turned off.
- It's easy to 'set and forget' your irrigation, so it is important to check regularly that the system is working correctly. Remember to also check your back up battery, which the system relies on when there is a power
Use a Pool Cover
Using a pool cover not only keeps your pool warmer and cleaner, it also cuts the evaporation rate between swims. During summer, it can save up to around 55 litres of water a day!
With more than your entire pool's volume of water being lost every year through evaporation, you can save water and money by regularly using a pool cover.
When looking for pool covers and other products outside the home, look out for products displaying the Waterwise Approved and Smart Approved WaterMark symbols. They are the preferred choice because of their relevance to Western Australia’s climatic conditions and water efficiency qualities.
Check for leaks
Save up to 30 litres a day by repairing leaks in and around your home.
For more information please visit the WaterCorp Website.