Our farmers are battling the worst drought in a century, as more than 50 fires blaze across South-East Queensland.
With drought plaguing our state and most of the East Coast of Australia, it is more important than even to implement as many water saving measures in our homes as possible to conserve this precious resource.
Our team of expert Gold Coast plumbers have compiled this list of water saving tips to help your home become more environmentally friendly, so we can all do our bit.
Look out for leaks
You should regularly take note of your water meter to understand your households water usage. By staying vigilant, you will be able to detect leaks early – saving precious drinking water and money.
If you did not notice the change on the meter, you may notice a change in the price of your water bill. If it is higher than normal, it is worth investigating further with help from your local Gold Coast plumber.
If you suspect you may have a hidden or underground leak on your property, there is a simple test you can complete:
- Check all taps (both inside and outside) are completely shut off and no water-using appliances are turned on.
- Find your water meter and take note of the numbers shown.
- Wait for one hour and re-check the reading on the meter. If the numbers have changed, you may have a leak.
Toilets are a common culprit for sneaky water leaks, so turn off the water valves located underneath the cistern and repeat the test. If the numbers stop running, your toilet was likely the location of the leak, but if the meter continues to count up, there will be a leak elsewhere in your home.
It is also important to keep an eye out for damp or wet spots, bubbling paint, growth of mould or mildew or the warping of ceilings and floorboards, as these can all be an indication of a leak.
Staggeringly, one slow dripping tap can waste 9,000 litres of water a year, while a visibly leaking toilet can waste more than 60,000 litres.
Quick tip: Don’t forget to turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth: this wastes up to 10 litres each minute!
Check the water efficient rating
Not all water-using appliances are created equally, with some options much better at saving water (and money) than others. Just as each appliance is rated for its energy-efficiency, they are also scored on the WELS star rating system. Quite simply, the more stars that appear on the label indicate how much more water efficient the appliance is.
When looking for dishwashers and washing machines, it is recommended to look for a rating of 4.5 stars or better.
When it comes to air conditioning, reverse cycle or ceiling fans are the water saving alternative to an evaporative system – which can use between 60 and 100 litres of water per hour. If you do have an evaporative system, make savings by using the ‘fan only’ setting on humid days and at night time when it is cooler outside.
Switch to water saving fixtures
A fast way to make changes in your home is to purchase water efficient products such as shower heads and tap flow restrictors.
Water saving flow restrictors and aerators are versatile devices which can help to restrict excess water flow from taps in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry.
Some shower heads are more water efficient than others, which helps to save on your water bills as well as reducing energy costs from hot water use. Look for a showerhead with a WELS 3 star rating or higher. For taps, look for a rating of 6 stars or better in the bathroom, and 4 or higher in the kitchen and laundry.
Adding a shower timer to the mix will also help you become more conscious in actively reducing your consumption.
Install a rain water tank
Utilising rainwater is a great economic and environmentally friendly choice, especially as water shortages become more common across Queensland and the Gold Coast.
While your mind might immediately jump to the thought of your backyard being completely taken over by a tank of gargantuan proportions, you might be surprised to discover how many various shapes and sizes are now on the market.
Depending on the space you have for a tank and how reliable rain is in your area will determine what applications you can use it for. You could simply use it for washing clothes and feeding your reticulation system, or go as far to drink and bathe with it.
Being self-sufficient eases the pressure on our dams and saves more water for all.
While you are out in the garden, take a look at your irrigation system in action to ensure the water is getting to your plants instead of flooding the pavement. Not only is it not doing its job correctly, but it is unnecessarily wasting water if this is the case.
You could also consider a drip irrigation system, which is a more water-wise option of watering your garden as it delivers the water directly to the roots, with minimal evaporation.
Always water before 9am or after 6pm when it is cooler to minimise evaporation, and consider adding a rain sensor to your irrigation system.
Always use a properly fitted pool cover and check your pool for leaks to minimise water loss. Just as there are water-efficient appliances, there are also water-efficient pool filters. Opt for an environmentally friendly kit by matching it with an energy efficient pump to save on energy costs.
Ask the Fosters Plumbing team for help
As well as helping to conserve water, a resource becoming increasingly scarce, you will also be helping to minimise your water bill, saving you money in the process.
Whether you need help installing a water-efficient shower head or leak detection services, the local Gold Coast Plumbers at Fosters Plumbing are ready to help you save water.
We can also give you tips and advice on other eco-friendly measures you can employ to reduce the carbon footprint in your household, such as energy efficient hot water systems and energy saving water pipes and appliances.
Our team of local plumbers can also assist with any gas fitting needs, installation services, blocked drain solutions and troubleshoot a host of other plumbing issues.
Our fully licensed Gold Coast plumbers and gas fitters are available 24/7 for the emergency service of gas leaks and burst pipes.
Call the team now on 0415 169 603 or shoot us an email at [email protected].