Water Saving Tips
Save Water, Save Money
When we moved into our house a few years back, it was pretty typical of the 1960’s brick homes that are scattered all over Melbourne. Three bedrooms, one bathroom, Hills-hoist in the middle of the yard . . . it also hadn’t been touched on the inside since the 1960’s. This meant we had an old single flush toilet, a lovely pink shower in the bathroom and a kitchen tap that never stopped dripping.
Over the years we have slowly replaced the old fixtures throughout the house with more water efficient alternatives. The thing I love about these simple changes are they don’t cost much and can have a real impact on overall water savings.
Many people I speak to would love to run grey water systems through their house or capture and re-use rain water with tanks, however feel they are unable to afford the up-front investment. The ideas below are designed to be small water-saving changes that most people can do right now (and hopefully reduce their water bill):
Water Saving tips in and around the home
Toilet leaks and flushing
- Replace your single flush toilet with a dual flush system – this one move can save up to ~60,000 litres of water each year.
- Make sure your toilet is not leaking – you can check for a leak by placing a little bit of food dye in the cistern. If the water colour changes in the bowl in the ensuing minutes, then you know you have a leak.
- Employ my young son’s midnight toilet tip . . . number one can stay, flush number two away (I don’t guarantee the cleanliness or sanity of that one!!)
Fill dishwasher and washing machines
- Australia has a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme – that provides consumers with information about the water efficiency of their appliances. When it comes time to replace dishwashers or washing machines, use the WELS rating to help select a water efficient model. It is suggested that 34% of water savings will come from just using water efficient washing machines1.Note – WELS rating also apply to showers, taps, toilets and there are standards about the minimum WELS rating of new appliances that can be installed in Australia.
- Also remember an easy change to make is to ensure the washing machine and / or dishwasher are completely full before running a cycle.
- Recycling the waste water from the washing machine to water garden beds is also a great way to re-use water outside.
Shorter Shower Time
- Our showers are one of the biggest water waster in the home. A simple way to save here is to take shorter showers (I know hard at this time of year!) – there is even a range of shower-heads coming onto the market that change colour based on the amount of water you have used2
- Replace you shower head with a low flow, water efficient model. These shower-heads are really inexpensive to purchase nowadays and there are some councils which run exchange programs where you can exchange your current shower head for a more water efficient model.
- Please don’t let them drip for ages!! I know it is just one of those things that always gets shuffled to the bottom of a “To Do” list, but a leaking tap can waste anywhere up to 12000L per year3.
- Try to avoid turning taps off too hard – this can damage the washers within the taps and cause leaks.
For more great tips you can check-out the following websites: