Easy ways for homeowners to save water

South Africa has limited water resources so even during the rainy season, homeowners need to be thinking about ways to save water.

And according to the Chas Everitt International newsletter Property Signposts, it's easy enough to do so just by making a few small changes that will also keep your water bills down, such as the following:

*If you have a leaky tap, replace the washer immediately. A tap leaking at the rate of one drop per second will waste around 10 000L of water every year.

* Fit bathroom and kitchen taps with inexpensive aerators or flow restrictors. A showerhead fitted with a flow restrictor will use only about 7L of water per minute compared to 20L a minute for an old-style showerhead.

* Use a timer and try to restrict your shower time to less than five minutes.

* If you have an old-style toilet put a bottle filled with water or a brick into the cistern to reduce the amount of water used with each flush. The new-style toilets with flat cisterns only use about 3 to 6L per flush.

* In the kitchen, start by keeping cold drinking water in the fridge rather than running the tap until the water gets cool, and thaw frozen food in the fridge or microwave instead of under running water.

*Also don't rinse hand-washed dishes under a running tap. If you have a dual sink, fill one side with soapy water and the other with rinsing water, or use a basin for rinsing.

* Don't use water-hungry kitchen-sink disposal units. Rather try composting which is an environmentally-friendly alternative. Wash fresh fruit or vegetables in a laundy basin, not under running water.

* And in the laundry, try always to wait until you've got a full load before you use the washing machine. If you do a half load, adjust the water level accordingly.

* If you're going really "green", why not buy a water tank to catch the runoff from your roof and use rainwater in your washing machine? Alternatively, channel grey water from the washing machine rinse cycle to be re-used in your garden.


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