How Can I Save Water?
Much water can be saved without compromising your comfort and lifeslyle, and it feels good to save money and the environment. There are many cost-effective ways to save water at home including:
- A well-designed efficient showerhead is often the best investment for both owners and renters. This is because large amounts of both energy and water are consumed in the shower.
- Upgrading from a high-flow to a more efficient unit will pay for itself within a year. Both energy and water bills will be significantly reduced.
- Select a shower with a water flow of around 7 litres / minute or less. (Some older showers use up to 20 litres / minute while many people are happy with shower flow rates as low as 4 litres / minute.) Test your own shower flow by this simple method:
1. run the shower into a large measuring jug for 10 seconds
2. multiply the water volume by 6
3. read the amount in litres.
- Replace old toilet cisterns and pans. While relatively expensive, an upgrade to an efficient system will save water and achieve a style upgrade at the same time.
- Select dual flush toilets with 6/3, or 4.5/3 flush for great savings.
- Install a rainwater tank, and plumb it into the toilet and washing machine for maximum use.
Changing our approach
- Try a more relaxing shower experience by simply reducing the flow.
- Shorter showers and catching the cold water for plant watering or toilet flushing are also worthwhile.
- Capture water from the rinse cycle of the washing machine for the garden and use low phosphorus and nitrogen detergents or you may end up with other problems in the garden.
- Install flow regulators on your taps. They will reduce water being wasted down the drain.
- Apply thick locally produced mulch to your gardens and pot plants.
- Select plants which don’t require much water, such as natives which also support diverse fauna to enrich your garden spaces.
- Generally water later in the day to avoid evaporation- with care as some plants are susceptible to fungi if left wet.
Fun fact: An average suburban roof can collect enough rainfall to supply a family's non-drinking needs for a whole year!
- A showerhead is something you can take with you when you leave.
- Your landlord might also be interested in assisting with retrofits and upgrades to save resources, so it's worth asking.
North Sydney Council's sustainability team can also advise you on rainwater tank installation; call them on 9936 8100 during business hours.