Reducing your water bill

Our top tips to save you money

A lot of water often gets used for some regular everyday tasks, because it makes these tasks much easier. We will look at some water-wasting habits we don't always think of.

How to save on drinking water 

Installing a faucet aerator will help a lot. Newer faucets may even have it built-in already. Some of them can be swiveled to allow you to direct the water to where you need it. If you need cold water and have to wait for the tap to cool down first, keep water in the refrigerator or use ice cubes.

Instead of waiting for the tap to get hot, heat water in a kettle or microwave and if you regularly need hot water, you can make use of a vacuum flask and keep small amounts of hot water for later use. When you frequently need hot water throughout the day, one option is to install a point-of-use water heater under the kitchen sink. You will have hot water at the turn of the tap and it can pay for itself in a few months in terms of saved water and energy.  

How to save water when washing 

Less water is used when using a dishwasher than hand washing, especially with the newest models. Dishes doesn't have to be pre-rinsed, but simply scraped and put into the dishwasher. Whether your machine is full or partially loaded, it uses the same amount of water, so wait until the dishwasher is full before using it.

Instead of flushing waste food down the sink, you can compost it or throw it in the trash bin. The trash bin will save you a lot of water. Any leaking faucets or pipes should be fixed promptly, because thousands of gallons of water can be wasted through leaking pipes. Check the water meter and check it again after two hours to see if there are any leaks.

It will greatly reduce water use when switching to low-flow showerheads. It is said to save you up to 60 percent on your water bill. The less time that is spent under the shower, the more you save water. A five-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses 12.5 gallons of water or less. Showering requires much less water than bathing - up to a third or less. Some units are available that allow you to cut the water flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.

It's a common thing to let the water flow while brushing teeth or shaving. Only open the tap when necessary. Leaking toilets contribute a lot to the wasting of water. You can test it by adding dye to the water in the tank and if some if it seeps into the bowl then you know there's a leak. A worn toilet flapper valve could be the cause and is quite easy to replace. This should preferably be replaced once a year.

To reduce the amount of water used for flushing a toilet, a bottle can be placed in the tank. The bigger the bottle the more water will be saved at each flush. You might need to experiment so see how much is needed to effectively get the job done. When you need to replace a toilet there are low-flow toilets available and also some dual-flush models. Just ask around first to determine which one is the most effective.

When washing clothes, rather wait for a full load before starting the machine. The machine will also last longer with less washing. Something to consider is to wear clothes more than once. Trousers can normally be worn twice before getting dirty. When buying a new washing machine, there are models available that are highly efficient - up to three times more than older models.

Instead of just letting it go to waste, greywater can be kept for use in the garden. The soap in the water won't kill the plants, unless it's the only water the plants will ever get. Water that gets wasted when you're waiting for the tap or the shower to heat up can also be collected and kept for the garden or other uses.

Save water by modifying your home 

All hot water pipes should be thoroughly insulated. This can keep the water hot for a long period. The closer the hot water heater is to the taps the quicker you will have hot water. Instead of installing a water-to-air heat pump or air-conditioning system, rather go for air-to-air models that are just as efficient and do not waste water.

Water for plants can be collected using rain barrels or tanks. Mulching can save you a lot of water and plants can survive for weeks without needing additional watering, because mulch reduces evaporation. Using a dust cover on your car and washing it less often will also save a huge amount of water.

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