Save Water by Collecting Rain and Recycling

Summer is over and now is probably the best time to prepare for the next dry season. Summer had you saving on water, waiting on water, or paying steep prices for your water use. However, simple measures can extend your water supply and cut down on your municipal water bill.

Collect Rainwater

Rainwater gathering systems can extend your water supply for a few weeks or even a few months. With just a few water tanks in your property for storage, you can be prepared to weather out the long hot summers. Slimline water tanks are perfect for home use as they are easier on the eye than the big bulky tanks. A rainwater gathering system will direct water that flows through your roof into storage tanks. The more tanks you have, the more water you can gather. A separate water supply will limit your dependence on municipal water and cut down on your water bills. A standard 1,000-litre water tank costs less than $1,000. However, it would be more economical to purchase larger containers that hold 5,000 litres as these tanks cost less than $2,000. A separate water supply gives you more freedom on how to use your water. You can wash your car without reprisal and water your plants all-year-round.

Re-use House Water

Residential water filtration

Installing a water recycling system for your house may seem complicated, but it is relatively easy. It would probably cost you less than $3,000 — but the system will cut your water bills by as much as 30 per cent. Water recycling systems use “grey” water from your sinks, showers, and laundry. This “grey” water can then be used to flush toilets, clean cars, or water your non-edible plants. Most of your water use will probably be showering and flushing the toilet so using shower water to flush the toilet is a very efficient use of water. More advanced water recycling systems can convert “grey” water to potable water, but these systems are expensive and not many people are comfortable with drinking their own shower water.

Buy Water-efficient Products

You can easily see a product’s water efficiency by consulting its label. Australia has initiated a Water Efficiency Labelling Standard (WELS) scheme that ranks products based on their water efficiency. Asking the WELS rating of products will significantly reduce your water use. It is especially important when choosing showerheads, dishwashers, and laundry machines. A WELS-efficient showerhead can cut your water consumption by 30 per cent and ensuring your dishwasher and laundry machines have similar ratings will lead to similar reductions. The government has claimed that the WELS rating has saved Australians $1.1 billion on utility bills and saved 112 billion litres of water.

Installing rainwater-gathering systems and water recycling systems will be costly, but these systems will last for lifetimes and significantly reduce your utility bills for years and years. You can start tomorrow by merely changing your showerhead, but you will need to spend a little bit of money if you want to reduce your water consumption significantly.

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