How water smart are you being in your bathroom?

Before you even consider watering, push aside the mulch, stick your finger into the soil and if it is moist below the surface you don’t need to water.

Baths

Many people believe that baths waste a lot of water. However, often a bath may use less water than showering. Follow these tips to ensure that you are using the bath water wisely.

  • Only fill the tub with as much water as needed. Use less for children and pets.
  • Check the temperature as you fill. Adding extra water to get the correct temperature after the bath is at the right level is wasteful.
  • Regularly check your plug for leaks and replace as necessary.
  • Bucket used bath water onto the garden or use it to wash your car.
  • Check that soaps and detergents in the water won’t harm garden plants.

Before buying a new bathroom appliance, check the manufacturer’s water efficiency labels. Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme allows consumers to compare the water efficiency of different products using a star rating system. By buying more water efficient products you can save money on water and electricity bills and help the environment.

Showers

Modern water efficient showerheads use no more than 9 litres of water per minute, while old style showerheads use up to 20 litres per minute. If you shower for six minutes, a water efficient showerhead can save up to 50 litres of water for each shower or up to 20,000 litres of water per person per year.

  • Take shorter showers. Limit time spent in the shower to soap up, wash down, and rinse off. Shorter showers save on energy costs associated with heating water.
  • Use a shower timer. Choose from a manual 4-minute egg timer or a more sophisticated electronic timer that either attaches to the shower wall or showerhead, or is wired into the wall during construction.
  • Use a bucket to collect water while waiting for the shower to get hot.
  • Shave your legs before taking a shower. Use running shower water to rinse off.
  • Insulate hot water pipes. This avoids wasting water while waiting for hot water to flow through and saves energy.
  • Consider an instantaneous water heater if your existing water heater is located some distance to the bathroom. Talk to a plumber first to make sure it will work adequately with your showerhead.
  • Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to reduce the temperature of very hot water is wasteful.

Toilets

Buy a top rated dual flush toilet. Look for models with a four-star water efficiency rating. These can save the average home up to 35,000 litres per year. These toilets use just 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush.

Older toilets use around 18 litres per flush. If you can’t afford a new toilet, put a water filled plastic bottle or a brick in your cistern to reduce the volume used with each flush.

Leaking toilet cisterns waste litres of water each day. Check for leaks by putting a few drops of food dye in the cistern. If you have a leak, coloured water will appear in the bowl before the toilet has been flushed.

If you are building a new home or doing a bathroom renovation consider installing plumbing to flush your toilets using rainwater or greywater.

Don’t use your toilet as a bin. Feminine hygiene products, food waste, baby wipes and goldfish should go in the bin! Flushing these down the toilet not only wastes valuable water but places additional strain on the sewerage system.

More bathroom water saving tips from The Water Conservancy
Saving water in the bathroom
Saving water outdoors
How to replace a showerhead
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