In a country suffering the effects of a drought, citizens are expected to do what they can to save water. But conserving water doesn’t just limit your impact on the environment. It can also take a large chunk out of your monthly utilities bill. Here are a few things that everyone can do to save on their water bill and ease the pressure on our water supply.
There are several products out there that allow you to wash your car with a minimal amount of water or even none at all. However, these products don’t work if your car is caked in dirt or mud. Trying to remove larger particles of dirt from your car’s finish with a microfibre towel (used in a waterless car wash), could scratch it, so it’s important that you still use water (sparingly) to remove thick dirt when you need to. To learn how to give you car a waterless car wash, read this article.
Always remember that any running tap is the enemy of water conservation, and the same applies for taps outside. Instead of letting the water run through a hose or sprinkler system, use a watering can to water your garden, and be strategic about when you water. Watering your plants in the early morning or early evening will result in the the least amount of water lost to evaporation.
It may seem like just a drip, but over time that small drip amounts to a lot of water. You can use this drip calculator to see how much water your dripping tap is wasting. Say it’s a slow leak of 30 drips per minute, it adds up to 16.35 litres per day, 490.5 litres per month, and an annual total of 5967.75 litres. Prevent your water bill escalating with every drop by fixing all the leaky taps around your home.
Regular baths are a luxury that we can no longer afford. A bathtub uses a lot of water even if it’s only filled a couple of centimetres. For your daily routine, forget the bath and start taking short showers instead. And when you switch to showers, keep in mind that long showers may use more water than a bath, so you need to limit your time. Keep showers between 5 - 10 minutes and, if you want to save even more water, turn the water off while shampooing or soaping up when you don’t need it to rinse.
Nobody wants to step into an ice cold shower, and most people let the shower run while they’re waiting for the water to warm. In most situations, you should try to avoid leaving any kind of tap running, but in this case there is another solution. Place a bucket in the shower and catch the running water to use later. This can be used for almost any purpose, from watering the garden to washing the dishes.
The average toilet cistern uses about 9 litres of water with every flush. Depending on how many people are in your household and how many times they flush, this can add up to hundreds of litres every week. You can combat this by placing two or three bricks inside the cistern. This will displace some of the water, limiting how much goes into every flush.
Greywater is the term used for the water collected by pipes connected to your sinks, showers, washing machine, and dishwasher. Some of this water can still be used for irrigation after it is used for it’s original purpose. Greywater systems filter some of the waste out of your used dirty water, making it suitable for use in your garden, but you can recycle greywater from certain sources: the shower, bath, and bathroom sink, and your washing machine if you use biodegradable detergent.
For the people who are serious about saving on their water bill, a rainwater capture tank is a good idea. This does require an initial capital investment, but it will save you water (and money) in the long run. You can even start small by attaching rain barrels to the end of your outside gutter pipes and collecting the rainwater that runs through it. Water used to wash your dishes is usually just too dirty.
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