Easy water saving tips for your household
The first step towards assisting in South Africa’s water security is to reduce our national demand.
With households directly consuming around 30% of the water, it’s important to do our bit in our homes. Here are a few tips to get started:
* Ensure that your water meter is functional and that there are no leaks in your water network. Turn off all your taps and take the water meter total count. Return after an hour or so and see that the meter reflects the same numbers. If the counter has increased then you have a leak and need to call out a plumber to assess.
* Record your water meter total weekly, more or less at the same time, to track your consumption and maintain the required vigilance.
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* Replace your showerheads with high-efficiency ones.
* Replace your hot and cold taps with high-efficiency mixers.
* Do not reduce the toilet cistern volumes as generally, the more modern toilets require the exact volume to flush effectively.
* If it’s yellow, let it mellow, as this can save you significant volumes of water where two toilets in a home of four can easily account for around 30% of your total water consumption.
* Showering in two minutes is a game-changer, although maybe not as relaxing as bathing.
* Try to plant a water-wise garden. This takes time and money but is really worth the effort in the long run.
* If you have a swimming pool you should acquire a cover. This will save significant amounts of water and chemicals.
* Water the garden after 6 pm and before 6 am only to avoid most of the water being lost to evaporation.
* Use a high-pressure cleaner for paving and car washing as it uses around 90% less water than a hose and works better.
* If you have the funds, invest in rainwater storage tanks to harvest water from your roof to water the garden. More sophisticated approaches that are relatively expensive can be applied to recover greywater, for example. Recent model dishwashers and washing machines are all water-economy rated and generally very efficient, so check the water rating and not just the energy rating. Washing dishes and clothing this way is by far the most efficient, water and energy-wise.
* Benoît Leroy, Chief Executive and cofounder of the SA Water Chamber