Be wai-wise: our top tips
Rinse dishes in a plugged sink or container.
Whether you're rinsing your dishes or rinsing your veggies - don't let the tap run for ages! You can easily save water by rinsing in a plugged in sink. Even better, you don't have to pour all this water down the drain. You can recycle this water too i.e. watering some houseplants.
Take shorter showers.
We are all familiar with this one. A five-minute shower uses about a third as much water as a bath.
Stop dripping taps by replacing tired washers.
What can waste 4L of water per day? A dripping tap. By taking the time to fix those dripping taps, you'll be helping your water bill and the environment. There are videos online on how to fix a leaking tap, however if you're in any doubt about what to do, call a plumber.
Recycle water from food prep.
Cooking a big family meal (this holiday)? We use so much water in our food prep - there are vegetables to rinse, steam, and boil, hot water used for thawing, and water glasses to fill.
All of this water doesn't have to be poured down the drain after use. You can conserve water by recycling what's left over for other purposes. You can use the same water that you used to boil your vegetables to make some vegetable broth and you can use leftover water to water some house plants.
Ask your guests to save water.
It's the summer, you'll probably have some guests over for BBQ's and some family visits, so why not ask your guests to be wai-wise.
There are simple ways that your guests can help save water. For example, not running the tap when brushing their teeth, reducing shower times, making sure the washing machine is full when doing laundry and rinsing the dishes in a plugged sink.
Wash your car on the lawn.
This way your lawn can get a drink. Just be careful to not get the wastewater in any drains or streams.
Be wai-wise with your laundry.
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.
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.
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