Water Saving Tips

We've collected some handy water saving tips to save you money and protect the environment.

Tips

Water Saving Tips

Water is a precious and expensive resource.

However it is an essential part of everyday life. With mandatory water restrictions being enforced by government authorities to help fight the effects of drought, water saving initiatives have become more important than ever before.

FIX-A-TAP® is committed to developing water saving initiatives to ensure all households can save water and help the environment, as well as saving money.

Some of the biggest water wastage in the home is from dripping taps and running toilets. If you have a leaky tap or toilet, go to our HOW TO FIX guide or find a plumber right away.

How to save water around the garden

  • Brooms, squeegees and wet/dry vacuum cleaners are good alternatives to clean surfaces before washing with water
  • Catch running water whilst waiting for it to warm up. Use it to water plants, rinse dishes, or wash fruit and vegetables.
  • A pool cover can reduce water loss to evaporation by as much as 90%. This could save up to 25,000 litres per year.
  • A grey water processing system in your home is a great way to minimise water consumption. It recycles wastewater from showers, baths, hand basins for uses such as landscape irrigation and toilet flushing.
  • Always use a trigger hose, bucket or watering can when washing your car or watering the garden.
  • Minimise lawn areas and plant water-efficient native trees and plants.
  • Direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees, or collect and use for your garden.
  • When installing ornamental water features (such as fountains) use recycled water
  • For your garden, it’s best to water the roots and soil around plants rather than spraying the leaves and flowers.
  • Check the four-day forecast. (Bureau of Meteorology – www.bom.gov.au) If there’s rain ahead, let the rain do your watering for you.
  • Replace hard surfaces in your garden or grounds with grass or garden beds to reduce stormwater run-off.
  • For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.
  • Soak pot plants for a few minutes in a sink or bucket of water. The water will soak in, push out trapped air in the soil so your plants will be healthier and you use less water.
  • Install a rainwater tank – No matter where you are in Australia, a rainwater tank can at least partially offset your mains water usage.
  • When giving your pet fresh water, instead of throwing the old water down the drain, use it to water your trees or shrubs.
  • Consult with your local nursery for information on plant selection and placement for optimum outdoor water savings.
  • To decrease water from being wasted on sloping lawns, apply water for five minutes and then repeat two to three times.
  • Avoid recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.
  • Add water crystals to soil to enhance water retention by up to 35%
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Keep planted areas dense and consolidated, and group plants according to their water requirements.
  • Mulch can reduce evaporation from soil by up to 70%. Mulch is like blanket on the soil, keeping it cool and protecting it from drying out.
  • See if plants need watering by testing the soil with your finger. If it’s damp 2 cm down, you don’t need to water.
  • Wash your car on the lawn and water the grass at the same time.
  • We’re more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor garden taps, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
  • Gain an understanding of where your plants lie in the shade or sun path of the sun. Use dry-soil plants in sunny areas, and use plants that require more water in shady areas where evaporation is slower.
  • Ensure you install covers on your pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
  • Next time you mow your lawns, try not to cut the grass too short – below 3cm. If the lawn is too short it will burn because it has no leaf protection. Taller grass also holds and contains water better.
  • Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it’s still moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water.
  • Try and not to water your garden on windy days as some of the water can blow away or evaporates!

Did you know?

  1. Water running slowly into a cistern pan may waste 50,000 litres per year – the same as an average sized swimming pool.
  2. Replacing all cistern washers may cost as little as $5.00
  3. An older toilet cistern may use 13 litres of water every flush
  4. Installing a FIX-A-LOO Dual Flush Cistern Valve, can save 30,000 litres of water per year, a saving of approx $63.00 per toilet.
  5. An 8 minute full flow shower can use 200 litres of water per use.
  6. To fit a water saving spout aerator will cost approx $6.00 and may save $32.00 per year. You can view more tips by visiting Sydney Water

How to save water around the home

  • A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 litres of water per day. Conduct a dye test by putting a few drops of food colouring into the toilet cistern and checking for colour in the toilet bowl 15 minutes later.
  • Replace showerheads with 3-star or better WELS rated models. They can reduce the flow from up to 25 litres per minute down to 9 litres per minute.
  • Flow-controlled aerators for taps are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%.
  • Rubbish disposal units use about 6 litres of water per day. Put suitable food scraps into a compost bin or worm farm rather than down the kitchen sink.
  • Insulate hot water pipes. This avoids wasting water while waiting for hot water to flow through and saves energy.
  • Adjust the water level to suit the size of the wash load – some new water-efficient models will do this automatically.
  • Leaking taps can usually be fixed by simply replacing the washer. Just remember to turn the water off at the mains before you start.
  • Only fill the bath with as much water as needed. Use less for children and pets.
  • Install a hot water system close to kitchen or bathroom facilities, requiring regular hot water so taps don’t run cold water out for too long before hot water comes through.
  • Use rainwater to flush your toilet. A tank-to-toilet-flush pump system can use water from a rainwater tank, diverting to mains water only if necessary. Consult a plumber or tank retailer for advice.
  • Take short showers. You can soap up, wash down and rinse off in 4 minutes saving you on hot water costs at the same time.
  • Depending on your plumbing, you may be able to divert your shower water to the garden.
  • Try to use phosphate-free, eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products – there’s a great range to choose from these days, and they’re much better for our environment.
  • Don’t use running water to defrost frozen food. Ideally, place food in the refrigerator to defrost overnight – this is also the healthiest option.
  • Put in the plug as soon as you start running water to fill the sink. Keep the water pressure low while you wait for it to get hot.
  • Automatic dishwashers can use up to 40 litres of water per load. By using a dishwasher with at least a 3-star/AAA rating, you can get this figure down to 18 litres per load and still get the kind of sparkling clean dishes you’re used to.
  • High water pressure increases flow rates from showers, taps, leaks, and drips. If you have extreme high-water pressure, a registered plumber can fit a pressure reduction valve at your property boundary.
  • Cook vegetables in a steamer, microwave, or pressure cooker, or in pots with lids. These methods use less water and energy and help retain the nutrients.
  • Check for toilet leaks by placing a few drops of biodegradable food colouring into the cistern and wait for 30 minutes. If you have a leaking toilet, you will see coloured water in the toilet bowl and need to contact a plumber. A slow, barely visible leak into your toilet bowl can waste more than 4,000 litres of water a year. Visible, constant leaks (with a hissing sound) can waste 95,000 litres a year.
  • Prevent taps from leaking by turning taps off lightly and replace washers as soon as they begin to leak.
  • By using a low-flow toilet, you can reduce your water consumption by 75% or more.
  • Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
  • Once you are done with your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, try scraping your plates clean instead of rinsing prior to washing or placing in the dishwasher.
  • The next time you use your washing machine, ensure you select the right water level for the size of your load or perhaps if you can, wait until you have a full load.
  • Instead of using the hose to clean driveways and gutters, use a broom. It saves water, and you get a workout as well!
  • Whether you are at home or staying in a hotel, try to reuse your towels!
  • Installing water-efficient taps or tap aerators is an inexpensive way to cut your water usage without you even noticing.
  • Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to cool very hot water is wasteful.
  • Wash with a full load, and you will save 10 litres of water each wash.
  • Use washing-up liquid sparingly as this will reduce the amount of rinsing required when washing dishes by hand.
  • When you clean your fish tank, use the ‘old’ nitrogen and phosphorous-rich water on your plants.
  • Repair leaks and dripping taps immediately to prevent water wastage.
  • Rinse your razor in a plugged sink rather than under running water.
  • Turn taps off firmly, but avoid excessive force that may damage the tap washer and cause the tap to leak.
  • Designate a drinking glass daily or refill a bottle. This cuts down on glasses to wash.
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