Water saving tips

Saving water inside the house

Bathroom

  • Take shorter showers with the use of a timer to help you keep track.
  • Install a 3-star or higher rated shower head.
  • Use a bucket to collect shower water then use the water collected for cleaning, window washing or in the garden.
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave.
  • Use half flush for the toilet when possible.
  • Install a dual flush system or a water-saving device so your toilet only flushes for as long as you hold down the button.
  • Check for a leaking toilet by putting food colouring in the cistern. If the colour starts flowing into the bowl you know you have a leak. (Flush straight after this test so that you don't stain the bowl).

Laundry

  • Only use the washing machine if you have a full load.
  • Consider using a 4-star rated washing machine.
  • Use ‘sud-saver’ or ‘economy’ option on your machine.
  • Pre-treat stains to reduce the need to re-wash clothes.
  • Hand wash clothes with only the necessary amount of water.

Kitchen

  • Use your dishwasher when full and always use economy settings.
  • Don’t use running water when cleaning pots and pans - soak them instead.
  • Wash fruit or vegetables in a bowl, rather than under running water.
  • Install a flow regulator on taps to reduce up to 50%.
  • Ensure any leaks are fixed.

General

  • Always look for appliances rather 3-stars or higher.
  • Flow control regulators and aerators on taps will cut flow by up to 50%.
  • Ensure sink plugs throughout your house don't leak.
  • Insulate hot water pipes to reduce warm-up time and save water and electricity.
  • If you have high water pressure, a plumber can install a pressure reduction valve at your property boundary.

Leaks

A leak can waste a huge amount of water. Read your meter before you go to bed and again first thing in the morning. If it has changed while you have not used any water then you have a leak.

Saving water outside the house

Garden

  • Use a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can to water plants.
  • Choose drought tolerant plants.
  • Install a drip irrigation system.
  • Use mulch on your garden to reduce evaportaion.
  • Use greywater collected from your bathroom and laundry to water your garden.
  • Use wetting agents to help soil to absorb water more easily.
  • Sweep hard surfaces with stiff bristle broom, rather than watering.
  • Use a compost bin. Compost helps soil retain water and is packed full of nutrients that will give your garden the extra boost it needs.

Pets

  • Wash pets in a shallow bath or use a certified pet groomer.

Vehicles

  • Wash your car using a bucket and sponge.
  • Try waterless carwash products.
  • Look for a local carwash that uses high pressure, low volume equipment.

Swimming pools and ponds

  • Cover up your pool when not in use.
  • Ensure there are no leaks in your pool system.
  • The water level should be halfway up the skimmer opening for maximum water efficiency. Clean out your skimmer often.
  • Only backwash until the water is clear in the sight glass or at the drain point – one or two minutes at the most.
  • In summer, it's best to run your pool filter eight to ten hours a day - especially when people are in the pool.
  • If you have a rainwater tank use the rainwater to top up your pool.
  • Ensure your pool's quality is maintained all year 'round.

Cyclic watering - the most effective way to water

Experts recommend that you water your plants using an efficient method known as cyclic watering. Cyclic watering keeps your garden healthy with minimal water usage. Cyclic watering does not cause excessive pooling or runoff, and helps water better penetrate the soil.

The principles of cyclic watering can be applied to all watering methods, including drip irrigation and hand watering.

  1. Water a designated area until pooling and runoff begins, and then turn the water off.
  2. Leave the area for half an hour to an hour to allow the water to soak into the soil.
  3. Water the area again until pooling and runoff begins, and then turn the water off.
  4. Again, leave the area for half an hour to an hour to allow the water to soak into the soil.
  5. In between watering cycles, dig around to see if the water is reaching the root zones. Then you will know how many times you have to repeat the cyclic watering process to let the water reach areas where it is really needed. You can then program your drip irrigation system accordingly.
  6. Remember to water under the allowed times.

Ask an expert

If you are starting a new garden or considering a complete overhaul of your existing garden, visit your local nursery, call a garden or lawn care expert for inspiration and great ideas on how to create a sustainable, water-efficient and beautiful garden.

Water rating      

Water Efficiency Labelling System

The WELS label, or Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme, allows you to compare the water efficiency of different products on the market. Keep an eye out for any water-reliant product. The more stars on the label the better!

Smart Approved Watermark  

Smart Approved WaterMark

Smart Approved WaterMark is Australia's outdoor water saving labelling program for products and services that help to reduce water use around the home. Products and services with the Smart Approved WaterMark label have been assessed by an independant technical expert panel. So look out for the Smart Approved WaterMark label when you're shopping to be sure that what you're buying really will save you water.