The shower is one of the easiest and most cost effective places to decrease your water use.
An inefficient showerhead can use more than 20 litres of water every minute while an efficient AAA rated one will provide a high quality shower using a maximum of 9 litres every minute. Depending on the model you choose it is possible to get additional features such as massage, self-cleaning, and flow cut-off control.
AAA-rated showerheads cost about the same as conventional ones but can save around $100 annually on household energy and water bills. This is because they use less water and less hot water, meaning less energy is used for water heating. Prices for efficient showers range from $17 to $200. The average price is around $45.
Fitting an AAA rated showerhead takes about 10 minutes for a plumber.
The environmental benefits are:
There are many ways to reduce the amount of water used by your toilet: Use the half-flush button when appropriate.
Insert a water displacement device into your tank if you have a single flush toilet. You can purchase these or place a plastic bottle filled with water in the cistern. Make sure it doesn’t obstruct the mechanism. Don’t use bricks as they can crumble and stop the system working properly.
Have your plumber adjust the flush volume of your cistern.
Fix leaking toilets immediately. A slow, barely visible leak can waste more than 4,000 litres per year. Visible, constant leaks can waste over 95,000 litres costing you hundreds of dollars extra per year!
Check for leaks by placing a couple of drops of food colouring or dye into the cistern. If colour appears in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, then a leak exists and the system should be repaired.
Replace the toilet with a 6 litre/3 litre dual flush toilet.
Replace the cistern on an old toilet with a 9 litre/4.5 litre cistern if replacing the entire unit is not an option.
Reducing your use of hot water is a great way to save on your energy bills, regardless of what water heater you have.
Showering uses the most hot water in a household. Installing a water efficient (AAA rated) showerhead can reduce this use by more than half (22L per min down to 9L per min).
Buy washing machines and dishwashers that have a cold or warm water cycle option and use this cycle as much as possible.
Immediately repair dripping hot water taps and leaking appliances, including the relief valve from your water heater.
Ensure that the temperature gauge on storage hot water systems is set at 60°C. A higher temperature than this means that energy is used unnecessarily and a lower temperature than this may allow harmful bacteria to thrive. Instantaneous hot water systems should be set to no more than 50°C. Turn off your water heater when you go on holidays.
Maintain your system and have it serviced according to manufacturer's instructions
Preventing or reducing water pollution protects our water quality and is essential to maintaining the health of our environment and our own quality of life. Everyone can help reduce water pollution.
We can all take steps to reduce water consumption and contribution to water pollution.
Substances put in stormwater drains flow untreated directly to the local river or creek.
Don’t put the following items into stormwater drains: Oil, chemicals, paint, thinners, radiator coolants, pesticides, poisons, swimming pool backwash waters, leaves, grass and garden clippings, animal droppings, plastic, polythene, plastic bags, bottles and paper.
Don’t place the following items into sewers: Solvents, oils, paints, varnish, thinners, paint strippers, pesticides, poisons, fertilisers, acids and solid objects which are likely to cause blockages. The sewerage system can’t treat many of these substances, and their presence in sewage may also prevent proper treatment of other pollutants.
Use fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides sparingly. Make sure runoff doesn’t carry these chemicals into the stormwater drain or your local waterway.
Place rubbish in garbage bins or take it home with you to recycle or dispose of with household rubbish. Rubbish often finds its way into waterways through stormwater drains. This pollution, particularly plastics, can also choke and kill animals living in waterways and oceans.
Don’t put your used car motor oil down the sewer or stormwater drain. Oil forms a film on water which reduces oxygen transfer from the atmosphere to water. Dissolved oxygen is essential for fish and other aquatic life. Oil also coats birds' feathers, making it difficult for them to fly.
Minimise your use of cooking oil. To dispose of large amounts of used cooking oils, pour the oil into a small hole in the garden and mulch. Oil washed down your drain is not effectively treated by sewerage treatment and often ends up being discharged to waterways or the ocean.
Buy detergents, cleaning agents and washing powders which are low in phosphates. Phosphates in detergents flow into the sewerage system and increase treatment costs. Excess phosphate in waterways can cause rapid algal growth. Algae rob water of dissolved oxygen, essential for aquatic life.
Reduce the water and detergent you use; wash on the lawn so soaks in rather than runs down the stormwater drain.
Save water by fixing dripping taps; turn off the tap when brushing your teeth; install a dual-flush toilet or water-conserving tap restrictors and shower nozzle; sweep paths and driveways rather than hosing.
Use 'environmentally friendly’ natural alternatives and avoid unnecessary use of cleaning agents. Commercial cleaning agents contain phosphates and chemicals which can pollute waterways.
Avoid commercial toilet cleaners and substances used to freshen toilets. Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is as effective. Toilet fresheners contain chlorine and hydrocarbons which can be dangerous to aquatic animals.
Avoid placing paint and solvents down sinks, sewers, gutters, or stormwater drains. Petroleumbased paints and solvents can kill aquatic life. Water-based paints cloud water. Paints and solvents coat plant and animal life in waterways and cause visual pollution.
The Water Efficient Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme is an Australia-wide rating and labelling system to help consumers select water efficient products at the point of sale.
The WELS Water Rating label has two main features:
Labels display from 1 to 6 stars, with more stars meaning the product is more water efficient.
Some products may also be labelled with a 'Zero Star Rated' label, which indicates that the product is either not water efficient or does not meet basic performance requirements.
Fresh water is a precious resource - less than 3% of the world’s water is fresh & most of this is frozen in ice caps.
Water restrictions are one way of managing the impacts of drought. Across Government we are working on a range of strategies to support the community and promote water efficiency.
Phone the Water Restrictions Hotline on-1800 130 952