Water Shortage – Saving water at all costs.
Despite what seems to be weeks of rain, it’s not enough. Auckland has a water shortage. Auckland dam levels are low. The smaller dams in the Waitakere ranges are now full or almost full while the dams which provide the lion’s share of water to Auckland, those in the Hunua Ranges, are still low. Auckland Council water restrictions are in place. Conserving water is the task.
Are you wasting water you’re not aware of? Leaking pipes, taps, toilet cisterns, worn tap washers, and old taps often need to be fixed. If you need a plumber to fix things, you know who to call.
4 ways to check you’re not inadvertently wasting water.
- Measure your flow rate
To see how much water you are using, turn the tap on full and run the water into a bucket for 15 seconds. Measure how much water you have in your bucket and multiply that figure by four. This will give you the per minute flow rate. Over 9L from your shower and 6L from taps is excessive.
- Replace appliances for ones that are more efficient
Modern, water-efficient appliances like showers, taps, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers use less water, so it makes sense to replace them. Not only will you save water, but you’ll also reduce both your water and electricity bills.
- Test your toilet cistern
Put a drop of food colouring in the cistern. If, without flushing, the water colour in the toilet bowl changes colour, a replacement rubber flapper/cistern washer or fill mechanism is needed urgently as you could be losing over 300L a day.
- Fit aerators, flow restrictors and pressure-limiting valves to existing taps and shower mixers
Aerators simulate high pressure by dragging in the air while also reducing the flow of water from your tap by 50% without reducing water pressure. Pressure-limiting valves and flow restrictors reduce flow to the whole plumbing system which is especially useful if you have a high-pressure shower. Flow restrictors allow an economical 9L a minute through your taps. It may seem strange at first, but you will quickly adapt. The reduction in your water bill will help!
There are many ways of saving water.
Here’s how much water you can save by making small lifestyle changes
Save 377 Litres
If your tap is open by a mere 1.5mm you can waste as much as 377L a day.
Save 122 Litres
Wash only full loads in the washing machine and reduce the number of loads by at least 1 a week. Don’t let the water used in the machine go down the drain. Use it to water the garden.
Save 87 Litres
Don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, scrape them clean instead. Using a dishwasher will potentially save up to 87L.
Save 50 Litres
Make sure you have an efficient showerhead. It will save you at least 50L per shower. Three-star rated showerheads use 9L per minute. Older ones, between 15 and 20L. Take a 4-minute shower rather than bathing. Use a bucket to catch the water and use that to water the garden.
Save 10 Litres
Letting the tap run to heat water up or cool water down wastes up to 10L. A jug of water in the fridge, topped up when necessary, will always be cold.
Save 6 Litres
Only use ‘half-flush’. If necessary, create a half-flush system by placing a brick in the cistern. The brick takes up space so less water will be required to fill the cistern.
Save 4 Litres
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
Dripping taps. Leaking pipes, or any sort of water issue? Let us all unite in fighting water shortage today!
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