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How Can I Improve the Water Efficiency in My Home?

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on the planet. According to Geoscience Australia, only about 70 per cent of the mainland receive rain, and we only receive less than 500 millimetres of it per year, while the rest barely experience any rainfall at all. Thus, it’s safe to say that if there’s one place in the world where water conservation should be taken seriously, it’s here in this country.

Unfortunately, Aussies are not very good at conserving water. Blue Planet has tagged us as the highest user of water per person in the world, consuming approximately 25,000 gigalitres of water per year, which is equivalent to 50 Sydney Harbours. With climate change turning our already arid land into a bone-dry desert, it’s only a matter of time before water becomes completely scarce anywhere. If we don’t act now, water shortage will not just affect direct consumption but the fundamental industries as well, particularly agriculture, food processing and service, and energy.

Thankfully, as a household, there are several little things you can do to contribute to the protection of our remaining water supply. One of these is ensuring that your home’s water efficiency is kept above the acceptable rate. If every family will adopt a few ways to conserve water at home, we can make our supply last for another 100 years or longer by which time we will have already discovered technologies that would allow us to use fresh water sustainably.

Reduce and Reuse

You’ve guessed it right, there’s supposed to be a “recycle” to complete the 3R process, but the technology for recycling used water is not yet accessible, which is why we didn’t mention it, and in case it becomes commercially available, small-scale versions of it would most likely be unaffordable for the next 20 years or so. Reducing water consumption and reusing water, however, are quite doable even for the average household. Here’s how you can do it.

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. You’ve probably heard of this advice on how to save water before but haven’t actually followed it conscientiously. Tell you what, it may not seem too much but if you do the math between brushing and gurgling with the tap on, you might be surprised just how much clean water goes down the drain without being utilised. Multiply that amount to the number of days per year and that’s your contribution to the fresh water this country will never be able to use again.
  • Turn off the tap while scrubbing your hands. Health experts advise that when you are washing your hands, you have to vigorously scrub all surfaces with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. During those 20 seconds, it’s important that you keep the tap shut and open it only when you’re ready to rinse. Depending on the water pressure and the size of the faucet, you can save up to 4 litres of water per washing if you diligently follow this step.
  • Reuse laundry water. Most of us are accustomed to throwing away laundry water right after use. That’s several litres of water wastefully poured down the drain. A more efficient way of disposing this water is to use it for cleaning the bathroom, washing your car, or even flushing the toilet. There’s no limit to what you can use laundry water for, especially because it’s already mixed with soap.
  • Have your vehicle cleaned in a car wash. Ever thought of washing your car in your own home because you believe it’s less costly and more eco-friendly? As much as we appreciate your intention to conserve water and energy, it is in fact a less efficient choice. Modern car washes are equipped with water recycling machines, which allow them to maximise their supply of water. This means you will be wasting more water than you think the car wash would if you use your own water supply.
  • Fix all leaks. Leaks, no matter how small it may seem, can amount to several litres of water over a long period. You can even measure how much water you are losing simply by observing your water meter when all water outlets in your home are shut. If the reading continues to go up, it could only mean you are losing water and it’s likely that the culprit is a leak. The faster the meter turns, the bigger the leak must be.

The Importance of a Water Efficiency Audit

Changing your lifestyle by adopting these simple water conservation practices can greatly help in improving water efficiency. Unfortunately, there are certain aspects of your water consumption that are beyond your control. For instance, if you’re living in an old house, the plumbing system itself may not be efficient and therefore cause you to consume more water than you need. Some of your plumbing fixtures may also be contributing to excessive use of water despite all your efforts to minimise consumption.

In that case, you can opt to have a full water efficiency audit of your home to identify areas in your plumbing system that needs updating. Not very many plumbing companies are capable of providing this type of service, but it’s important that you choose a company like FIXME Plumbing that has many years of experience and are updated with the latest technologies that can help improve your water efficiency.

Through a water efficiency audit, you can learn a lot – not just about your plumbing system but also about other areas of your home that may need some modifications to aid in the reduction of your water consumption. Your chosen plumbing company will painstakingly scan your home’s blueprint for design errors and propose a new, more efficient layout fully furnished with highly efficient plumbing equipment and fixtures.

Author: FIXME Plumbing