Everyone knows it makes sense to conserve water and it is everyone’s social responsibility not to be wasteful.
When residents collectively take steps to use water wisely, not only do they save money each month, but the water supply infrastructure can grow more gradually.
In most single family homes, the biggest water users are toilets, clothes and dish washers and showers, which combined consume more than 60 per cent of total water usage, excluding landscape irrigation.
Follow these minor water-saving steps to reduce your water consumption.
- Ensure that faucets are closed off tightly and that there are no leaks. Check under sinks for leaky pipes. A slow drip wastes 15 to 20 gallons each day.
- Check toilets regularly for “phantom flushing”. A simple test: put a drop of food colouring in your tank, if the water in your toilet changes colour, you have a leak.
- Run your clothes or dish washer only when you have a full load.
- Invest in low-flush toilets. In most homes, nearly 30 per cent of water usage comes from toilet flushing. Can’t switch to a low-flush toilet? Instead, fill a plastic bottle with water and place it in your toilet’s cistern.
- Learn to read your water meter so you can monitor usage.
- Don’t let water run while brushing your teeth.
- Install water-saving shower heads.
- Don’t let water run while washing dishes. Instead, fill a sink to wash and rinse.
In the garden
- Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation and reduce water usage up to 40 per cent.
- Use soak irrigation lines instead of pop-up heads to reduce water consumption by up to 60 per cent. If using pop-up heads, align heads to avoid paved surfaces.
- Install a rain gauge to prevent activating the system during and following rainfall.
- Use a slow-release organic fertiliser, and fertilise only twice a year–mid April and late August. Excess fertiliser applications increase water consumption.
- Water only every five to seven days (if no rain). A soaking rain can extend that period up to 10 to 14 days. Most people apply twice the amount of water needed.
- Using water wisely today also has financial benefits for tomorrow. As demand for water rises, the Water Authority must invest in additional infrastructure and the cost of system expansion is passed on to consumers over time.
To help you make your home more cost-efficient, the Water Authority provides some complimentary products, including a toilet leak detection leaflet and a free water conservation shower head (while stocks last).