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World Water Day - Tips on Saving In and Around the House

Water is a vital commodity and the preservation of this precious resource is in our hands. We take a look at tips on how you can save water in and around the house which will not only bring down the monthly water bill but also reduce water usage.

The first place we can start is by assessing water usage  inside the home  - taps, the bathroom and the kitchen are the main areas where changes can be made.

Inside the home:

Taps

The first step is to ensure that taps are properly closed after it has been used. While a dripping tap doesn’t seem like a big issue in the bigger scheme of things, a tap dripping at one drip per second will waste as much as thirty litres of water in one day. This amounts to around 10 000 litres of water wasted each year! 

Make sure that tap washers are replaced regularly and fit low flow shower heads where possible. This expenditure will pay off in the long run. Another easy fix is to turn off the tap while you are brushing your teeth - this will save around twenty litres of water per month.

Bathroom

While there is nothing quite as relaxing as a long bath, showering will use far less water than bathing. Keep showers short and if there is no other option but to bath, try and keep the water levels as shallow as possible. 

Installing a water-saving shower head will also aid in reducing water usage. Ideally when showering the water should not be at full force and it should be turned off when soaping or shaving. When opting to shave at the basin, it is best to plug the basin rather than rinsing the razor with running water. This will save approximately 45 litres of water a month.

A leaking toilet is just a bad as a leaking tap.Much like a leaking tap, a leaking toilet can waste vast amounts of water. Installing a water-saving toilet is an option, but for those who don’t wish to spend money on the outlay, adding a brick or sealed container of sand to the cistern will reduce the amount of water used during each flush. A few drops of food colouring in the cistern will help to determine if any water is leaking from the toilet. If the colour seeps into the bowl, the system is leaking and should be fixed without delay. 

Kitchen

If possible only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are fully loaded to avoid unnecessary water usage. Rather than rinsing dishes under running water, opt to rinse items in a basin of water. When waiting for dishwater to heat up, run the tap into bottles to use as drinking water. By keeping bottles of drinking water in the fridge there is no need to let lukewarm water be wasted when waiting for the tap water to cool.

Outside the home:

Taps:

While we often forget to check outside taps like we do with inside taps, they should also be checked regurlary and broken washers replaced. Ensure taps are always properly closed after use.

Gardens:

The garden is the largest area of water consumption for most homeowners and it should be the first place to start saving water. While an attractive, established garden can add considerable value to a property, a water-wise garden that takes less water to maintain but is still beautiful makes sense from both an environmental and financial viewpoint.

Choose the right plants

As a general rule, only indigenous plants should be used as they consume very little water and require minimal maintenance.  Certain bedding plants can drink a lot of water, however by adding mulching to the bed and water retention granules to the soil, the need for water can be substantially reduced. It is best to water the garden either before 9am in the morning or after 4pm in the afternoon – even later on really hot days. In addition, no watering should take place within 24 hours of rainfall as it should provide adequate saturation.

Reduce lawn areas

Lawns guzzle water, so assess how much is really necessary. Consider adding hardscaping features such as a paved or cobblestone footpath, which will reduce watering areas as well as add to the aesthetic appeal and overall feel of the garden. 

While we are focusing on water saving today especially, it should be a priority every day. 


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