According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, the country’s current drought is the result of below average rainfall pretty much everywhere – but especially in southern Australia. When rains fail to arrive when expected, everyone feels the impact from farmers to backyard gardeners to urban dwellers subject to watering restrictions.
Water Conservation: We Can All Help
We can all do our part to reduce water consumption which is, of course, good for widespread conservation efforts. If the broader impact can feel a bit hard to get your head wrapped around (does it really matter if you turn the tap off when you brush your teeth?), you’ll soon notice a decrease in your water bill just by implementing a few of these water saving tips. And money in your pocket is never a bad thing!
Our Top 10 Tips for Saving Water
Here are a few simple tips that can make a big difference when it’s time to pay the bills:
1. Turn the Tap Off!
To answer the question posed above: yes, it does make a difference if you turn the tap off when you brush your teeth! Such a simple trick and yet, if you think about it, a tap can use 10 litres of water a minute. If you brush your teeth for the recommended three minutes, twice a day – that’s a potential of 60 litres of water down the drain, and that’s if you live alone (or, heaven forbid) are the only person in the household brushing your teeth.
Of course, tooth brushing isn’t the only time throughout the day when many of us leave the tap running needlessly. Cooking, cleaning, and hygiene all present opportunities to save water – or to waste it. Making the right decision will have positive implications for your personal finances, for the country, and for the world.
2. Install Dual Flush Toilets
We all use the bathroom several times a day — and having the option of a low volume flush for liquids can add up to significant water savings. Although the cost of installing such a toilet does represent an initial upfront cost, the long-term savings are undeniable. If you are looking for an affordable and relatively easy way to invest in your home, then purchasing and installing a water-efficient toilet is a great possibility to consider.
3. Fix the Drips!
A dripping tap can waste 20,000 litres a year. That’s a lot of money (and water) wasted. As tempting as it can be to ignore small problems, the truth is that tuning out that annoying drip isn’t the solution – fixing the problem once and for all is. Visit RD Plumbing Solutions online to learn more about how you can get your leaky taps fixed quickly at an extremely cost-effective rate!
4. Run Full Appliances
If your dishwasher or washing machine doesn’t have a “water miser” mode, only run these appliances when they are really full. Many older washing machine models can use up to 150 litres of water per load, so making sure you get optimal use out of every cycle is a no-brainer for anyone looking to spend less on the water bill.
Pre-treating stains, using a quality detergent, and avoiding overloading the machine are also important strategies for saving water, as they reduce the risk of needing to run two cycles for the same set of clothes.
5. Install Low-Volume Shower Heads
Efficient shower heads and aerators for your taps reduce water use. Maybe when you’re fixing that leaky faucet, you should splurge and replace it with a new, low-flow option! Like many of the “home improvement” tips you will see in this article, this fix requires an inexpensive upfront investment in exchange for years of water bill savings!
6. Forget the Hose
Use a bucket when you wash your car. A running hose uses a shocking amount of water quickly. While it can be heavenly to accidentally on purpose give yourself a dousing when you’re washing the car, it’s a better idea to use a bucket and a sponge. (Don’t worry – you can still get nice and wet in the process if you’re looking for summer fun!) For that final rinse, make sure you are using a hose with a nozzle for easy shut-off.
7. Cook Conscientiously
When you’re washing your fruits and vegetables, use a bowl and give them a good scrub rather than letting the water run as you rinse. A final quick spritz from the tap at the end will be all you need to make sure you’ve cleaned everything well.
As we mentioned early, cooking is a huge potential source of wasted water, so being careful in the kitchen is one of the most important steps you can take to a lower water bill and a greener earth.
8. When it Rains
Another investment idea with big potential: install a rainwater collection system and a cistern. Perfect for watering the garden, rainwater can also be used to flush toilets and wash clothes. When the rains do come, collect what you can for later use.
Interested in the idea of a rain collector but unsure of how to begin? This article from RainHarvesting.com.au is a great place to start building up a working knowledge of the subject.
9. Try Singing in the Shower!
Showers are more efficient than baths, but if you can’t imagine life without a good soak in a tub, consider installing a smaller tub. As for those showers, it’s tempting to take a long, luxurious shower, but by limiting your shower time to 4 minutes (about the time it will take you to belt out your favourite song) and installing a low-flow shower head, you can substantially reduce your water consumption.
10. Use a Front-Loading Washer
Swap out your old top-loading washing machine for a front loading model, which are more efficient. When you go shopping for appliances, invest in one that has a water miser mode for long-term savings.
For more ideas about how to reduce your water consumption, check out some of these suggestions. We know lots of you are already doing lots to be water wise. What’s your favourite water-saving tip? Leave us a note in the comments and share your best ideas for getting serious about water conservation.
Whether you’re looking at replacing a toilet, hunting down the source of a pesky leak, or swapping out all your faucets for low-flow alternatives, RD Plumbing Solutions can help. Give us a call or drop us a line and let’s see what we can do together to help conserve water.