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At home

Taking a responsible approach to water efficiency doesn't need to be difficult - simple changes in everyday habits can result in substantial water savings.

In the bathroom

Facts

  • Bathrooms and toilets account for about 40% of household water use
  • Replacing the showerhead with a three star/AAA rated showerhead, can save 11 litres of water a minute
  • Installing a water efficient aerator on taps can save an average 13.75 litres a day from taps

Save up to 100 litres a day

  • Install a water efficient showerhead - The easiest way to save water in the bathroom is by installing a three star/AAA rated showerhead. A standard showerhead uses 20 litres of water per minute where as a three star-rated water efficent showerhead uses as little as nine litres per minute
  • Install low-flow tap aerators - Tap aerators can reduce the flow of water through a tap by up to 50%
  • Take shorter showers - By reducing shower times by one minute a day, more than 3,285 litres of water can be saved a year
  • Turn off the tap - Turn off the water while brushing teeth to save more than 50,000 litres of water for a family of four for over a year
  • Fix dripping taps - Keep an eye out for dripping taps. If a tap drips at a rate of one drop per second it can lose approximately 20,000 litres of water per year. So fix a dripping tap as soon as possible
  • Save water in the bath - Only fill the bath with as much water as needed. Use less for children and pets. Remember to check the plug for leaks and replace as necessary. Also check the temperature when filling the bath. Adding extra water to get the correct temperature after the bath is at the right level is wasteful
  • Use water efficient toilet devices - Up to 16% of household water is flushed down the toilet. Use a dual flush four star rated toilet. A four star rated toilet can save the average home up to 35,000 litres of water a year
  • Check for toilet leaks - A running toilet can use up to 16,000 litres of water a year. Check for leaks in the toilet by placing a few drops of food dye into the cistern. If after 15 minutes the food dye has seeped into the bowl then there may be a leak. Contact a licensed plumber to fix the leak.

In the laundry

There are many relatively easy measures that can be taken in the laundry to save water. Take a look at our suggestions below to see what can be done to reduce water consumption.

Save up to 15,000 litres a year

  • Choose a 4 star or higher front-load washing machine. On average, a front loading washing machine uses up to 50% less water, 35% less detergent and 30% less energy than top loaders
  • Do a full load of washing each time can save up to 10 litres per wash or match the washing machine water-level to the load size
  • Pre-treat stains before washing - this will reduce the chances of having to rewash
  • Fix dripping taps - Keep an eye out for dripping taps. If a tap drips at a rate of one drop per second it can lose approximately 20,000 litres of water per year. So fix a dripping tap as soon as possible
  • Install water-efficient devices where possible
  • Washing by hand - if washing clothes by hand, use only as much water as needed in the sink or bucket
  • Install low-flow tap aerators - Tap aerators can reduce the flow of water through a tap by up to 50%

In the kitchen

The kitchen has the potential to be extremely water efficient, with very little effort required. The following water efficiency tips will help to save water in the kitchen.

Facts

  • That a dripping tap has the potential to waste up to 16,000 litres of quality drinking water per year
  • A five star water efficient dishwasher can use as little as seven litres of water per load

Save up to 50 litres a day

  • Install low-flow tap aerators - Tap aerators can reduce the flow of water through a tap by up to 50%
  • Use a water efficient dishwasher - a water efficient dishwasher uses as little as seven litres of water per load, non-efficient dishwashers can use up to 25 litres of water per load. Don't waste water by rinsing plates first and always run a full load.
  • Be mindful when washing the dishes - If washing dishes by hand, make sure to fill both sinks - one to wash and the other to rinse the dishes. Rinsing dishes under running water uses up to 15 litres a minute
  • Avoid using the garbage disposal - Garbage disposal units can use up to 6 litres of water per day and also add extra rubbish into the sewerage system. Put suitable scraps into compost or a worm farm rather than in the garbage disposal
  • Cooking - when cooking, wash and peel vegetables in a bowl of water as washing them under running water can waste a substantial amount of water. The water left over in the bowl can be used to water the garden
  • Scrape plates clean - instead of rinsing. Rinsing dishes under running water uses up to 15 litres a minute
  • Let food thaw naturally - do not use running water to thaw food, a substantial amount of water is wasted by using running water to thaw food
  • Soaking pots and pans - rather than scrubbing them under running water
  • Fix dripping taps - Keep an eye out for dripping taps. If a tap drips at a rate of one drop per second it can lose approximately 20,000 litres of water per year. So fix a dripping tap as soon as possible

Water leaks

Water meters can help detect possible water leaks. Read more about checking for leaks by visiting our water leaks page or reading our brochure via the links below:

Maintaining and watering the garden

Save bucket loads of water in the garden by making a conscious effort to modify gardening habits. Below are some tips on how to save water in the garden.

Facts

  • Mulching reduces up to 70% of water evaporation from soil by retaining moisture
  • Leaving a sprinkler on can use 1,000 litres of water an hour

Alternatives

  • Choose drought-tolerant plant and lawn species
  • Use good-quality soil with plenty of organic matter
  • Replenish organic matter and mulch the garden regularly. Good mulches include wood chips, gravel and stone
  • Pull out weeds as they compete with garden plants for moisture and nutrients
  • Leave the lawn long (2.5cm) as this will help to retain moisture in the soil and encourage deeper root growth
  • Water gardens and lawns in the morning and evening when it is cooler. In the height of the Queensland summer, it is recommended to water the garden before 8am or after 6pm to prevent valuable water from evaporating. Try to avoid watering the garden in windy conditions as this also causes greater evaporation
  • Only water when its really needed - if rain is forecast, let mother nature attend to it instead
  • Water deeply and less frequently to encourage plants and lawn to grow deeper roots and be more resilient to dry times. Twice a week should be sufficient for a well-mulched garden, suitable soil and established plants
  • Install drip irrigation - drip irrigation is an affordable and relatively easy device to install in the garden. The drip system is placed at the base of the plant system and water slowly drips throughout the day
  • Choose native plants - Choose water efficient plants such as native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees to dramatically reduce household water consumption

For further information on drought-tolerant plants please visit The Waterwise Plant Selector.

Save water in the pool

Backyard swimming pools are synonymous with our South East Queensland lifestyle. However, pools also require large quantities of water. Here are some useful tips to improve the water efficiency of a pool.

Facts

  • In South East Queensland up to 12 million litres of water per day is lost through evaporation off pool surfaces

Alternatives

  • Get a pool cover - use a pool cover to reduce evaporation and save up to 200 litres a day through evaporation
  • Install shade cloth over the pool to help reduce evaporation
  • Install a rainwater tank or downpipe diverter to top-up the pool instead of using town water. Rainwater tanks are easy to install in the backyard and come in a variety of sizes
  • Check for leaks around the pool (see below for instructions on how to check a pool for leaks)
  • Plant some foliage around the pool to protect it from wind, which causes evaporation

Checking the swimming pool for leaks

Unfortunately, lots of people get caught out with increased water consumption because of pool leaks. Swimming pool leaks are the owner's responsibility. Here are a few tips to check a pool for leaks:

Alternatives

  • Check for bubbles in the return lines when the pool pump is running. If there are bubbles, there may be a leak in the suction side of the filtration system
  • Check the waste or backwash line for running water if a pool is losing water while the pump is running. The leak may be on the return-line side of the system
  • Check for cracks, gaps or tears - skimmer leaks are the most common leak in the pool and are caused by a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. This leak looks like a crack, gap or tear and is easily repaired by pool putty
  • Check for leaks on the shell of the pool, inserts into the pool walls (e.g. lights), wall interfaces (e.g. tile line) and in the pump and filter equipment