Tips: How To Be Water Wise This Summer

By on May 11, 2018

​​Our water is a valuable resource. Very little of the earth’s water is fresh and available for drinking. Our water comes from protected mountain watersheds north of the cities. Keep our great water for things we need like drinking and cleaning, and try not to waste it by overwatering lawns or leaving taps running.
Home Water Use

In this region we use about 340 litres of water per household each day, similar to the Canadian average. The major use of water inside our homes, up to a third, is from flushing the toilet.

Use less

Avoid running taps to wait for water to cool (keep a jug in the fridge) or while you wash your car (use a shut off valve).

When ready to replace appliances choose low flow toilets and energy efficient washing machines and dishwashers (which also use less water). Some cities offer rebates if you choose to switch to a low flow toilet. About a third of our household water use is for flushing the toilet. Older toilets use up to 12 litres per flush—that’s equal to six two-litre milk cartons. On the other hand, modern low-flow toilets use about half, only 6 litres a flush.

Check for leaks in your toilet. How do you do this? Put a few drops of food colouring in the tank. If it shows up in the bowl, your toilet is leaking water.

Starting a garden? Ask your nursery to help you choose low-water plants. Find some ideas here.

Waterwise Gardening

Only use the toilet for toilet paper, and not as a garbage. That way you are flushing less often.

Does your garden hose connection leak? Would a new washer help? Leaking faucets lose lots of water: 280 litres/week for a slow drip; 750 litres/week for a fast drip; and 3,700 litres/week for a steady stream, such as a broken pipe—the equivalent of filling an extra 50 baths a week.

When you are ready to replace your washing machine, choose a high-efficiency model. You’ll save both water and energy. A traditional clothes washer uses 150-plus litres of water for each load. A high-efficiency machine reduces this by more than half—to about 75 litres a load.

Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Sit a bowl in the sink, run the tap while you brush your teeth. Now look at the water in the bowl. Can you think of ways to use that water?

Outdoors, use a spray nozzle with automatic shut-off when washing your car or watering plants.

Sweep your driveway, stairs and garden paths instead of using the hose.

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