Change to water-efficient
appliances and fittings
Look for high Water Conservation Rating
labels when buying an appliance such as a washing machine or a dishwasher, or replacing fittings
like a toilet, shower heads or taps.
The more "AAA's", the better.
An average house tap flows
at 20-30 litres per minutre, depending how far it's turned on. Apply this flow rate*
to all your water activities and you'll be surprised at how uch is used.
In the bathroom
|Continuously trickling toilet
|Drinking, cooking, cleaning
|Dishwashing by hand
|Garbage disposal unit
|Washing car with a running hose
|Dripping tap (slow)
|Filling swimming pool
||Up to 55,000L
|Evaporation loss from typical
||Up to 200L/day
|* Figures vary due
to personal habits and design of household appliances.
Modify the way
we use water
The average family uses 60% of its domestic
water inside the house. Most households can:
- Reduce total domestic water usage by
30% through fitting Water Conservation 'A' Rating products inside the home.
- Make further big savings just through
changes in the way we use water.
- Save thousands of litres each year by
changing a family's habits of water use. Make it a project for everyone!
In the bathroom
Inside the house, the toilet accounts
for 32% of water used - about 57,000 litres a year in the average home.
- Install a dual flush cistern (9/4.5L)
in place of your old one, or convert that with an adaptor.
- Install a water-efficient shower head.
A family of four can save around 100,000 litres in a year.
- Add aerators to basin taps, or fit new
taps with aerators built in.
Many of our bathroom routines are old habits which we can modify:
- Take shorter showers and save a heap
on water heating costs! About five minutes works well.
- A half-filled bath uses less water than
a long shower - have a soak.
- When brushing teeth, use a glass for
rinsing - don't run the tap while cleaning. At about 5 litres a time per person, calculate
the savings per person per year!
- It's much the same for shaving. And
heating water costs a lot. Rinse your razor quickly, then turn the tap off.
In the laundry
Front loading washing machines generally
are more efficient, using:
60% less water
30% less electricity
50% less detergent
With any washing machine:
- Have a full load of laundry before operating.
- Limit detergent use and choose environmentally
freindly, biodegradable, phosphorus-free detergents.
- Use the suds-saver option when possible
Due to possible health risks, recycling untreated washing machine water onto
lawns and gardens cannot be endorsed. Research is being undertaken to resolve this issue.
In the kitchen
- Use the dishwasher only with a full
load. This also saves electricity.
- Fit aerator taps to reduce water flow
- Avoid rinsing of dishes under a running
tap. Use a plugged sink or place dishes on a rack and carefully pour water over them.
- Clean vegetables without running the
tap. Rinse in a plugged sink or pan.
Undetected leaks can waste thousands of
litres of water each year.
- Turn all taps off late one night or
when going away for the day, and take a meter reading. Check the meter after some hours, before
again using water. If the meter reading has advanced, you may have a leaking pipe, tap, water
heater or toilet cistern. Locate the problem and repair it.
- To chck for toilet cistern leaks, put
a little food colouring in the cistern, If, without flushing, the colouring appears in the
bowl, repair the flushing mechanism.
- Regularly read the water meter and compare
usage in a methodical way. (Tip: a good project for children.)
- Observe taps, washers, pipes and cisterns
for leaks and have any repaired immediately.
- Turn taps off properly. Check washers
Hot water pipes
- Insulate hot water pipes. This reduces
use of water and energy before hot water flows through.
- Make sure the system thermostat is not
set too high. Apart from the danger to children of scalding hot water, it wastes energy to
cool it by adding cold water.
- Check and ease the units pressure valve.
If the overflow runs constantly, have the valve checked by a plumber.
- If you have a spa, ensure it is well
insulated to keep warm longer. Reheat recirculating water to reduce wastage.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean paved
areas. A hose can use over 1,000 litres of water per hour.
- Control water games which use hoses
- Evaporation from a typical home pool
can loose up to 200 litres of water a day, so cover the pool.
- Check the pool for leaks
car, boat, caravan
- Use a bucket and sponge for washing.
Use the hose for rinsing only - and turn it off between rinses! A running tap wastes 1,000
litres an hour.
- Wash them on the lawn, so the water
is used by the grass.
Acknowledgement: Text and
images from the 'WMC Limited WaterWise program'.