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Ways to not waste water

Holly CoomeyThe West Australian
Unused shower water is a great way to water your plants.
Camera IconUnused shower water is a great way to water your plants. Credit: Ian & Erick/Water Corporation

When the temperature starts to rise so too do our utility bills, especially power and water.

We may not be able to take the sting out of the summer sun, but we can lessen the sting to our hip pocket by lowering consumption. Here are some handy ways to reduce water usage and wastage in the home.

Bathroom

There are simple ways to reduce water consumption in the bathroom. When taking a shower, switch your shower thoughts off and turn your Spotify on.

According to Water Corporation, a shower should only be four minutes long.

To assist in helping you keep track, they have created a Spotify playlist with songs that are roughly four minutes long so you are notified when your scrubbing time is up.

Water Corporation Customer and Community General Manager Karen Willis said switching to a water-efficient showerhead could reduce water consumption significantly.

“By installing a water-efficient showerhead, your household can save up to 20,000L of water per year,” she said.

Ms Willis said there was always a way to use excess water to ensure it was not being wasted.

“Don’t watch the shower or tap water go down the drain while you wait for it to heat up – collect the cold water in a bucket and use it to water your plants,” she said. “You could be catching as much as 10L for every minute you’re not in the shower.”

Toilet

Saving water in the toilet can be done by installing a dual flush system, which can save up to 80L of water per day.

“There are many different ways you can save water and your toilet is a great place to start,” Ms Willis said.

A leak in the toilet can waste 9000L of water a year if not repaired. One trick recommended by Water Corporation to detect a toilet leak was to put a couple of drops of food colouring into the cistern and leave it for half an hour. If the colour starts to appear in the toilet bowl, it is a dead giveaway that you have a leak and should get it fixed.

When flushing things down the loo, remember to stick to the three Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper. All other objects should be placed in the bin. Not only does flushing these products down the toilet place an additional strain on the wastewater system, it also wastes valuable water.

Kitchen

From cooking, cleaning, washing and drinking, there are many ways to make your kitchen the most water-efficient room in the house.

“Believe it or not, dishwashers are so efficient today they use less water than washing your dishes by hand,” Ms Willis said.

Although it seems like the right thing to do is to pre-rinse those really dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, it is a definite no when it comes to water efficiency.

In fact, detergent needs the food particles to attach itself to for the dishwasher to work effectively. And, of course, only turn the dishwasher on when it is full.

Laundry

Washing machines use a lot of water but, with a few simple changes, you can reduce the amount of water you use.

Ensuring the washing machine is full before turning it on is a simple rule to follow, which also reduces the amount of washing loads done throughout the week.

“Reducing your washing by just one load a week will save you up to 120L,” Ms Willis said.

Ensure you are buying products with a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards four-star rating or above for water efficiency.

Search ‘waterwise home’ on the Water Corporation website for more handy tips and tricks for reducing water consumption not only inside the house but in the garden too.

“With our changing climate, we need to rethink our outdoor water use and make small changes to ensure our lawns and gardens are as waterwise as possible,” Ms Willis said.

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