Tips: How to save water at home

A dripping tap can waste up to 90 litres of water per week. Photo / Thinkstock
A dripping tap can waste up to 90 litres of water per week. Photo / Thinkstock

Watercare offers a few tips to using and reusing water more efficiently. Not only will it help save the planet, but if you live in a city or district that meters water, like Auckland, Whangarei or Tauranga, it will also save you money.

1. Take a quick shower instead of a bath (use a timer to limit the amount of water used).

2. When rinsing clothing, use a basin or put the plug in, instead of leaving the tap running.

3. Install a dual flush toilet cistern.

4. Keep water in a covered container in the fridge. It saves running the tap to get cold water.

5. Never water the garden in the heat of the day (it causes leaf burn and excessive evaporation).

6. Grow your grass a little longer. It will stay greener than a close mown lawn and needs less watering.

7. Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth. You use 1 litre with the tap off and 5 litres with the tap running.

8. Use a bowl to scrub vegetables in the kitchen sink. Put the used water on the lawn.

9. Use a bucket of water when washing your boat or car. Use the hose for a quick spray to finish.

10. Use the dirty water when cleaning your fish tank on your houseplants. It's rich in nitrogen and phosphorus which provides an excellent fertiliser.

11. Look for a drought resistant lawn seed mix when laying a new lawn (eg Perennial Ryegrass, Fescues and Kentucky Bluegrass).

12. Apply a good mulch around trees and shrubs, or up to 73 per cent of your garden water just evaporates.

13. Re-use water where possible. Tip soapy water over flower-beds which will keep down the bugs.

14. Xeriscape means 'to landscape for water conservation'. The idea is to use plants that require less water.

15. If your sprinkler is spraying water on the driveway or paths, turn it down or reposition it. A sprinkler can use as much water in an hour as a family of four will use in a day.

16. Fix all leaking tap washers around your home. A dripping tap can waste up to 90 litres of water per week.

17. Don't use your toilet as a rubbish bin. 5 to 12 litres is wasted every time you flush it.

18. Use covers on swimming pools and spas to prevent water evaporating.

19. Get rid of the weeds in your garden as they compete with your plants for the available water.

20. Don't use your washing machine until you have a full load. The average wash needs around 95 litres. A full load uses less water than two half loads.

- Herald on Sunday

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