How To Save Water In Summer
Summer is here! And we all can breathe a collective sigh of relief that at the same time, social distancing restrictions around Australia are easing and we can start to celebrate and connect with our friends and family. This time of year is SO much fun, but it can be an expensive time of year – Christmas, New Year, Summer Holidays.
It’s the last time of year you *want* to deal with a plumbing emergency but trust us, the phones ring hot all Summer and it’s mostly because homeowners have skipped a few simple plumbing maintenance to-do’s or routine plumbing checks.
We have created a Summer Plumbing checklist for you to use right away. You can access it here and it’s designed for you to work through quickly over a weekend.
Summer also marks the start of bushfire season, drought season, hot weather and a lot of water usage. This summer, we urge you to start to conserve as much water in your home as possible. On a global scale, almost 900 billion gallons of water are wasted per annum through leaks alone! That’s A LOT of water. Collectively, we all need to start managing our water usage more sustainably. But big changes start small. And you can start with your family right now.
So here are a few simple tips that can help you save some water this summer (at the same time, saving you some dollars) PLUS a link to download our Summer Plumbing Checklist.
1. Be mindful about your water usage.
This is the most important tip: be mindful and really think about the water that you’re using every day. If every day you start to use less and less it will add up over time and you’ll be surprised with how much water you can actually save! All of our below tips are fantastic ways to start being more mindful about water in and around your home and garden. The best thing you can do is get the whole family involved. Talk to your partner and kids about it, make it a fun project for the summer and see how much impact you can make just in your home.
2. Watch the clock when you jump in the shower!
There’s nothing better than an icy shower on a steamy day. Especially if you’ve been doing some sweaty work all day. However did you know that cutting your shower time by two minutes can save almost 7,000 liters of water a year. Even if you start small by cutting your shower time down by one minute, you’re still saving water and money.
3. Fix that leaky tap: it’s wasting up to 20,000 litres of water a year!
Here’s a crazy fact: 1 leaky tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water per year!
Those litres are costing you big time $$$ and you’re not doing the environment any favours either.
Most of the time, we don’t realise we have any issue with our pipes until it’s too late (cue burst pipe and water flooding everywhere).
By the time you see signs of water damage in your walls and ceilings you have a weee bit of a problem on your hands.
Alarm signals for a plumbing leak include excess water coming from under your sink, toilet or any other fixtures.
Whatever the cause, ensure you get it addressed sooner rather than later by a professional and licenced plumber near you.
Or call our friendly team today and we can provide you with a $0 obligation free quote.
4. Save a blocked drain or toilet by being mindful of what you flush!
Items like sanitary pads, flushable wipes, ultra thick paper towel, face wipes and yes, even nappies DO NOT belong down the toilet.
Some people seem to mistake their toilet for a rubbish bin – like a black hole where once it goes down that drain, it disappears forever! Unfortunately not.
When a pipe is blocked, this is a signal for more water to be pumped into the bowl every time we attempt to flush it.
You know what that causes? Backflow!
So that perceived black hole where you thought you’d never see anything again… SURPRISE…could make a reentry.
The only thing that should see the inside of your toilet is the 3 P’s: Poop, Pee and Paper (Toilet Paper).
5. You have permission to use the dishwasher!
Stack those dishes! Did you know: by hand washing dishes you use almost doubles the amount of water a dishwasher uses? Those pesky machines have trumped us again with their smarts. This is one chore you can gladly hand over to them.
You use less hot water by running your dishwasher only when it’s full and by choosing shorter, economy wash cycles. So make sure that baby is fully stacked.
6. Buy water-efficient products!
Buying water-efficient products around your home (and they have them for almost any water-related task) can save money on your bills because you’re using less water, heat, and energy. Look for the water rating label or advice on all products regulated under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme. The label is designed to help you make informed choices. You can read more information here. According to the Australian Government’s current estimates on water efficiency, water-efficient products will start to save the average family $175 per year or more. It’s estimated to be $2 billion in total by 2030!
7. Install a slow-flow shower head.
If you can’t ditch the nice, long showers, try switching to a low-flow showerhead. With a standard showerhead using 15 to 25 litres of water per minute, switching to an energy-efficient, three-star-rated showerhead can cut your hot water usage by around 40 per cent. That’s a lot!
8. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth and wash your face.
Another great way to save water this Summer is by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth and you’ll save 10 litres a minute! If you know you do this… try and be mindful to turn that tap off while you brush your teeth in the evening and morning.
9. Think about having a shower next time you want a bath.
Generally speaking, based on average shower times, a shower uses less water than a full bath. Are baths are a part of your daily routine (how luxurious). Maybe consider swapping to showers and just having a bath every now and then. You’ll be saving water in no time!
10. Turn the washing machine to “cold”
By washing your clothes in cold water (and making sure the load is full before turning it on) you will save energy and hot water. With 90 per cent of your washer’s electricity use going to heating water, you’ll save by using cold water! Clothes will be just as clean and cold water helps to preserve their colour so you’re not doing any harm with a cold water wash.
11. Turn on your washing machine only when it’s full.
This one is common sense: don’t run a full load of washing if you only have a few things to get clean. You’ll save a lot of water being mindful about the amount of clothes you’re washing!
12. If you love cold, chilled water, keep it in the fridge.
Another great way to save water this Summer is by keeping water in the fridge. So instead of waiting until the faucet gives you icy water (and letting all that water go down the drain while you wait) keep a water jug or bottle in the fridge so it can pre-chill and be waiting for you always!
Save water in and around your garden with these easy steps:
- Try to plan a low-need water garden by using ‘waterwise’ native plants. Low maintenance water plants will keep any gardener happy and your local birds will love them too.
- Place some mulch around your garden bed. This can reduce water evaporation in the soil and keep the plants nice and moist.
- If you use garden hoses or sprinklers, check them for leaks so you’re not letting water wash down the drain. Have them set to a timer during the evening or afternoon when they’ll need less water to soak the lawn and shrubs and flower beds.
- Does your car really need a wash? Think about it twice and try to use saved, repurposed water (see tips below) to wash your car.
- Keep your gutters clean and clear of debris and blockages so when ‘the storms’ do come, water can easily flow down and away from your property.
- Think about installing a rain water tank to capture any rain water that you can use in your garden or in and around your home. There are some awesome urban rain water tanks on the market these days!
- If you love watering your lawn of an afternoon resist the urge to over-water. Also keep in mind Summer water restrictions in your area.
- You can set your mower level higher during summer and let your lawn grow a little longer. By keeping grass longer, it can actually shade the soil surface and reduce water evaporation. Who knew!
- Keep your pool and spa covered when you’re not using them to reduce water evaporation.
Here are 5 ways you can start conserving and repurposing water in your home this Summer:
- The trusty bucket in the shower trick!Just leaving a bucket in the shower to collect some of the water that would otherwise go down the sink can save liters of water! Use the water next time you wash the car, or to water the house plants, or garden or to clean the floors!
- Save the water you waste when you cook.That whole pot of water you used to boil the pasta? That can be reused.
The water you used to wash the fruit? That can be reused.
The water you used to boil the eggs? That can definitely be reused.
You get the picture.
- Install a greywater system.Greywater is wastewater from non-toilet plumbing fixtures such as showers, basins and taps. By installing a greywater system you can reuse water for the garden!
- Collect rainwater.You don’t need to go to the lengths of installing a rainwater tank (although that is a great idea and you can read more about that here) You can use buckets for water runoff or large buckets in the backyard when it’s raining cats and dogs to use in the garden or washing the car!
- Save the water in drink bottles. Do you come home after a day out with the family and throw away all the left over water in the drink bottles you’ve packed for the day? If this water goes straight down the drain, take a minute to think about how you can use it next time. This water is perfect to water the house plants that might get forgotten, refill the pets water bottles, or get added to the water you use in the outside garden or lawn in the evening.
- Unwanted ice and leftover water in water bottles.Think of all the ice you’ve thrown down the drain in your lifetime? Take the ice you don’t want and water the garden or your house plants. What about the usual 40ml leftover in your water bottle every day? Use that for the same purpose!
You can see by making a few small adjustments around the home, there are many ways you can save on your next water and energy bills this Summer! Not only will you save yourself some dollars you’ll also do your best to conserve water and do your part for the environment.
At Proximity Plumbing, we’re all about saving water so for an expert set of eyes to assess your current system or to book in for a plumbing maintenance appointment and have our team of expert eastern suburbs plumbers get their hands on your pipes – call us today
on 0420 102 394 for a free quote. Plus we guarantee to be on-site within the eastern suburbs in 30 minutes.
At Proximity Plumbing we have created a simple (but valuable) Summer Plumbing Checklist for you to use right away. Download this bad boy and get to inspecting the necessities around your home to make sure your plumbing system is SO ready for our warmer months. Get it here.