28 Ways to Save Water in your Bathroom, Laundry and Kitchen

Be water wise and learn about ways to save water. Not only in order to live a more greener life, but also in order to cut your water bills and live more economically.

Where do you use your water? In a typical household 35–55 % of water is used outdoors, 30–37 % in the bathroom, 10–13 % in the laundry, 9–13 % in the kitchen and 1–10 % is due to leakage. Up to 16 % of household water is flushed down the toilet.  That's a lot of water!

Therefore, in order to start saving water in your home you should first see where the leakages are and then look at trying to change some old habits that are causing you costs.

Ways to save Water in your Bathroom and be Water Wise

Ways to save Water when using your Toilet and be Water Wise

    • Unnecessary flushing is one of the biggest wasters of water. Don’t flush needlessly, and never flush items other than waste and toilet paper down the toilet.
    • Use the half-flush option on dual-flush toilets.
      • Replace your older-style toilet with a 4-star dual-flush system. This can save you up to 8 liters of water with every flush.
      • If this is not practical, try reducing the volume of water you use with    each flush. You can do this by installing a flow restrictor or by putting  a bottle filled with water in the cistern.
      • Use tank water to flush. Talk to your plumber about having your rainwater tank internally plumbed to your toilet.

          Ways to save Water and be Waterwise with Showers

          A standard shower can use 20 litres of water per minute. For saving water using a shower, try the following:

          • Install a water-efficient shower head. A 3-star rated shower head will use no more than 9 litres of water per minute.
          • Take a shorter shower. Shorter showers will not only save water but will help to save on the energy associated with heating the water.
          • Insulate your hot water pipes. This means you will not need to wait as long for the hot water to flow through—saving you both water and energy.
          • Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to reduce the temperature of very hot water wastes both water and energy.
          • Use a bucket to catch water while the shower warms up. You can then reuse this water on your garden.

          Ways to save Water and be Waterwise with Basins

          For saving water using baths and basins:
          • Use a plug when washing your hands and face.
          • Turn off the tap while cleaning your teeth or shaving.
          • Use as little water as possible in the bath. Put the plug in before you turn on the tap and fi ll the bath to less than a third. You may also like to bath small children together.

          Ways to save Water with your Laundry and be Waterwise

          The laundry is a place where you not only use a lot of water but you also use energy and detergents.

          • The best way to save water in the laundry is to make sure that you select the right washing machine. Select one that has a water rating of 4 stars or more. This will usually mean a front-loading washing machine. On average, front-loading washing machines use up to 50 per cent less water, 35 per cent less detergent and 30 per cent less energy than top loaders.

          Here are some other changes you can make to your laundry habits and more ways to save water and be waterwise:

          • If you stop using your washing machine every day, you can sort and wash bigger loads more efficiently.
          • Pre-treat stains before you wash. This will reduce the chances of having to rewash.
          • Make sure that everyone picks up and sorts the clothes they wear each day. That way, clean clothes won’t get washed just because they are left lying on the floor.
          • If you are washing clothes by hand, use only as much water as you need in the sink or bucket. Reuse this water in your garden.
          • Divert greywater from your washing machine for immediate use on your garden, but don’t use it on your vegetables. Also consider using biodegradable, low-phosphorous, low-sodium and low-nitrogen detergents, which are better for the garden.

          Ways to save Water in your Kitchen

          There are many ways to save water in the kitchen. Did you know that a 5-star water-efficient dishwasher uses as little as 7 litres of water? This means that a water-efficient dishwasher will use less water than washing dishes by hand. You can save even more water by thinking about how  you use your water-efficient dishwasher.

          For Saving water in the Kitchen:

          • Only use the dishwasher when you have a full load.
          • Scrape your plates clean instead of pre-rinsing your dishes under the tap. Non-water efficient dishwashers can use up to 25 litres of water a cycle. If you have this type of dishwasher, you will save more water if you wash your dishes by hand. If you hand-wash your dishes, don’t rinse them under running water. A running kitchen tap can use up to 15 litres of water a minute.
          • If you have two sinks, half-fill the second with rinsing water. If you only have one sink, rinse the washed dishes in a pan of hot water.
          • Don’t use running water to wash your vegetables or to defrost food. Instead, wash your vegetables in a bowl and place your frozen food in the fridge to thaw overnight.
          • Scrape your dishes and soak your pots and pans to remove food rather than rinsing them under running water.
          • Garbage disposal units can use up to 6 litres of water a day and also put extra rubbish into the sewage. Rather than putting your food scraps down the drain, put them into a compost heap or start a worm farm.
          • Encourage your children to empty their water bottles onto your garden or pot plants instead of down the sink.

          Ways to save Water by Checking for Leaks and be Waterwise

          A lot of water around the home can be lost because of leaking pipes and dripping taps. Just one slowly dripping tap can waste 9000 litres of water a year, while a visibly leaking toilet can waste more than 60 000 litres.

          • Make sure that you turn all your taps off properly, check for leaks, repair leaking taps, and check washers for wear and tear.
          • You can check if your toilet is leaking by putting a little food colouring in the tank. If the food colouring appears in the bowl without flushing, have the cistern repaired immediately.
          To find out if you have a leak in your pipes, turn off all taps and make sure that nobody will be using any water.

          Check your water meter and make a note of the reading. Recheck the meter after at least one hour. If the reading has changed, you may have a leak. This needs to be found and fixed.

          Source: Department of Environment and Resouce Management

          Waterwise Queensland

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