The national average household water usage is approximately 600 litres per day.
The average per person is 220 litres per day. Our research in the Western Bay (2010 and 2012) indicated an average household use of closer to 660-720 litres per day.
About 70 percent of water supplied to homes ends up as wastewater.
Water conservation tips
- Take shorter showers. A five-minute shower uses about a third as much water as a bath
- When doing your laundry make sure you adjust the water level to suit the wash load, or if you have an older washing machine wait until you have a full load before starting the wash
- Stop dripping taps by replacing tired washers. A dripping tap can waste up to four litres of water per day
- Regularly check your property for water leaks. If you have a water meter, turn all taps off and check that your meter has stopped turning. The sooner you pick up a leak in your system, the less it will cost you
- Use mulch around your garden. It reduces the speed of evaporation and prevents the spread of weeds
- Use sprinklers sparingly. A better option is to use a ‘soaker hose’ around the base of your plants where they need water most
- Park your car on the lawn while you wash it – this way the lawn will get a drink while you wash the car
- Use a broom to clean/clear your paths, not a hose
Monitoring your water
As your meter is read only twice a year, the cost of an undetected leak can really add up and you could find yourself faced with an unexpectedly high bill.
As the owner, you are responsible for maintaining the water system on your property, so its pays to monitor your system to ensure leaks are picked up early.
Keeping tabs on your water use will help you to keep your costs down, pick up costly leaks early and save precious reserves.
We recommend you record monthly meter readings. The sooner you pick up a leak in your system the less it will cost you. We recommend you:
- keep a simple monthly check record
- do an overnight water usage check from time-to-time
By reading your water meter last thing at night and again first thing in the morning you can pick up on any leakage and calculate how much water you are losing.
- Tell everyone in the house you are doing the test.
- Read your meter last thing at night, taking down both the black and the red numbers.
- Remind everyone in the house not to use water until you read the meter again in the morning.
- Read your meter first thing next morning before the household starts using water.
Businesses can do the test over a weekend if nobody is using the premises.
If the reading has increased overnight, subtract the night-time reading from the morning reading to work out how many litres of water were lost.
If you suspect you have a leak there are several things you can check:
- Walk in a straight line from your meter to the house looking an any unusually wet patches in your garden, lawn or paths, they could be a sign of an underground leak.
- Dripping taps – you may need new washers
- The toilet cistern – if there’s water coming out of the overflow pipe your cistern level may need adjusting
- All the overflow pipes – if they’re overflowing talk to your plumber, something may need adjusting
- Stock troughs are working properly
- Urinals are not running continuously
Other possible reasons for increased water usage:
- Increased use of water sprinklers or hoses
- Increased use of irrigation systems
- Recent additions/renovations to your property
- More people than usual living in the house
- An increase in tenants in rental properties