Easy, effective ways to save water in the home

2015-11-25 06:23
Fit a dual-flush toilet cistern, i.e. a button for liquid waste (four litres) and a button for solid waste (9nine litres).                                                                    PHOTO: supplied

Fit a dual-flush toilet cistern, i.e. a button for liquid waste (four litres) and a button for solid waste (9nine litres). PHOTO: supplied

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A FAMILY of four can use anything between 300 and 800 litres of water in the home per day. This is a large amount considering that many people in the world use as little as 25 litres of water per person per day, or six kilo­litres of water per household per month.

This means that it is entirely possible to conduct your daily tasks such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, drinking and flushing toilets with only 2,5 buckets of water per day.

Water Wise challenges every South African to use as little water as possible per day and suggests how to do it.


• Insulate water pipes and geyser.

• Install a solar geyser that uses the sun instead of electricity to heat the water in the geyser. This will also prevent large volumes of water being lost while the cold water is flushed out when the tap is opened.

• Install a solar panel for your energy needs in the house.


• Flush only when necessary.

• Place a closed, flat-based 0,5 litre bottle filled with water in your toilet cistern, away from any moving parts, to reduce the amount of water used per flush.

• Fit a dual-flush toilet cistern, i.e. a button for liquid waste (four litres) and a button for solid waste (nine litres).

• Don’t use the toilet as a rubbish bin.

•Install a low-volume toilet, i.e. nine litres­.

• Check if your toilet has a silent leak by putting a little food colouring in your cistern. If the colouring begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, there may be a leak.

• If you have a flush handle, pull up the handle once it’s flushed or bend the float arm downwards, so less water is allowed to refill the cistern.

• Ensure that the washer in the cistern is fitted correctly to stop leaks.

• Replace a tray urinal with a demand urinal valve, i.e. the valve needs to be pushed when water is needed to wash away the waste.


• Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.

• Fix dripping taps.

• Don’t turn the tap on full. Turn it off after use.

• Don’t leave the tap running while rinsing or shaving.

• Wash your hands with the plug in place.

• Install aerators or low-flow restricters in your taps.

• Use cold water to wash your hands instead of hot water.


• Avoid filling the bath to a depth greater than 20 cm.

• Keep the water pressure as low as possible.

• Fix dripping taps.

• Install aerators or low-flow restricters in your taps.

• Reuse bath water for heavy cleaning jobs such as for floors and carpets.


•Take five-minute showers.

• Install a water-efficient shower head (six to 10 litres a minute).

• Switch off the water between soaping and rinsing your body and hair.

• Place a bucket in your shower to collect the used water, which you can reuse on lawns, shrubs and trees.


• Repair dripping taps.

• Install aerators or low-flow restricters in your taps.

• Soak and scrape dishes and pots into the dustbin before washing them.

• Don’t rinse glasses, fruit and vegetables under running water. Plug the sink and reuse the water in the garden.

• Thaw frozen food in a refrigerator or a bowl of water, instead of under running water.

• Reuse ice for watering plants and for drinking and cooking.

• Don’t wait for a tap to run cold. Keep a bottle of water in the fridge.

• When waiting for hot water to come out of the tap, place a bucket under the tap so that the cold water can be used later.

• Only put as much water into your kettle as you need.

• When boiling water on the stove, cover the pot with the lid.


• Buy a water (and energy) efficient dishwasher.

• Fully load the dishwasher before use. Use an economy cycle.

• When rinsing dishes before loading the machine, place a small amount of water in the sink and rinse the dishes in that water instead of under running water.

• If you have pre-rinsed your dishes, run your load on a shorter cycle.


• Wash your clothes in cold or warm water.

• Ensure that you have a full load of washing when using the washing machine as this saves water and electricity.

• If your washing isn’t very dirty then don’t use the pre-rinse cycle.

• Buy a washing machine that is water (and energy) efficient.

• Buy a washing machine that has different cycle options. This lets you choose a cycle that is more water efficient when heavy duty cleaning is needed.

• Front loaders are more water (and energy) efficient than top loaders or twin tubs.

• Select a machine that offers load detection. If there isn’t a full load, the machine will only use the amount of water needed.

— Property24.

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