While many across the region were watching their flower and vegetable garden wilt under level 4 water restrictions, Charles Bagnall was able to ensure his extensive garden received all the watering it needed.

When Mr Bagnall built his Levin home, he designed the whole house around the hot water tank, heated by solar panels and also a grey water recycling system.

He plumbed the outlet high enough to put a large bucket underneath, collecting the grey water in case of drought.

A choice that he recently found himself relieved to have made.
Mr Bagnall had only ever experienced up to level 2 water restrictions so level 4 came as quite a shock.


"Especially when we're growing a lot of our own food," he said.

"We can now water our young trees even during level 4, scooping all the water from the grey water tank using a watering can or a bucket."

Charles Bagnall filling a watering can to water his gardens using recycled grey water from the sinks and washing machine.
Charles Bagnall filling a watering can to water his gardens using recycled grey water from the sinks and washing machine.

While the couple were hesitant to use the grey water on their extensive vegetable gardens, luckily they had prepared for this eventuality.

The home also had a rainwater catchment system installed that filled a 25,000 litre tank.

The rain water tank is complete with a creative overflow outlet that flushes the sediment from the system, all designed and installed by Mr Bagnall himself.

While most home garden sprinklers, soak hoses, handheld hoses, watering cans or buckets reliant on the town water supply could not be used, he could use them all thanks to his own water supply.

Mr Bagnall said that installing these water saving precautions was not a council requirement when they built their home but it was a smart move.

"People think they pay their rates and it should be their right to use as much water as they want, but it's a bit more precious than that," he said.

Mr Bagnall feels more people should take into consideration the precious commodity that water is.

"Everything is looking good out there except of course the lawn, which is pretty dead," he said.

Mr Bagnall is "delighted" at how much can be done with just one bucket of recycled dish water.

"I washed the car with only half a bucketful and it looks just as good as the mega-cycle at the car wash," he said.

"I believe that so many of us are trying to make the world a better place. With me at the moment, it's one bucket at a time."

We are headed towards a future of longer, hotter summers where water demand will be heightened, according to the Ministry for the Environment.

Its website states that even the drought intensity will likely increase.

If we are hit with an even hotter and longer summer next year with further water restrictions, will you be prepared?