There are many indoor water saving ideas you can practice around the home including your bathroom, laundry and kitchen. You can buy products that are water efficient. Check that the label meets the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme.
For more information about water efficiency labels, visit the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) website.
All showerheads, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets and commercial urinals must have a water efficiency label. These labels have up to six stars.
Water saving ideas for the kitchen include:
- install flow restrictors to your taps as these deliver a preset water flow
- turn off the tap when not in use
- don't rinse dishes or defrost food under a running tap, plug the sink instead
Washing up and cooking
- reduce the amount of washing up liquid you use
- chill drinking water in the fridge instead of running tap water until it is cold
- wash vegetables and fruit in a basin rather than under running water
- don't put too much water in the pan when boiling food
- put a lid on a pot
- use a washing up bowl and reuse it for watering a plant or for cleaning
- fill up your dishwasher before switching it on - an average dishwasher uses 25 litres per wash (three buckets) - a water efficient dishwasher only uses 13 litres per wash
- install a sink swish to transform a straight stream into a spray - this controls water flow, reducing water wastage
- insulate water pipes - avoids wasting water while waiting for water to heat up
- install flood stop safety valves to shut off water flow if your dishwasher hose breaks or slips off - a cheap way to stop your house getting flooded and to prevent water wastage
- fix leaks or drips straight away
Water saving ideas for the bathroom include:
- rinse your razor in a plugged sink and turn off the tap when shaving
- replace taps with aerating taps
- catch water that's usually wasted while you wait for shower water to reach the right temperature - keep a bucket in the shower to collect it and use this water for your pot plants and garden
- turn off the tap when soaping hands
- if everyone in Brisbane reduced their shower time to four minutes, the city would save 32 million litres of water a day
- if you have a single flush toilet, change to a dual flush - dual flushes use about 60% less water
- insulate hot water pipes
- install a hot water system tempering valve to reduce hot water
- replace showerheads with water efficient ones - they can use as little as nine litres of water per minute compared with 20 litres for older models
- if you have an instantaneous hot water system, check with the manufacturer if a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards showerhead can be used
- check all your taps and toilets for leaks - this could save thousands of litres of water being wasted
Water saving ideas for the laundry include:
- look for washing machines with the best water and energy rating - can cut your water usage by 55%
- choose front loading washing machines - they use approximately 65 litres of water per cycle, this is about half the water top loaders use
- only put on a full load and match the water level to the size of the load
- install flood stop safety valves to shut off water flow if your washing machine breaks or slips off - a cheap way to stop your house getting flooded and to prevent water wastage
- reduce your clothes washing by one wash per week - this could save you approximately 65 litres of water. If every household did this, we would save 25 million litres of water a week across the city
- divert water from your laundry (known as greywater) to water your garden
Changing to water efficient equipment
If you change or replace your household appliances make sure you choose water efficient products and find out how much you can save.
A standard dishwasher uses 25 litres (regular cycle) compared to a water efficient dishwasher, which only uses 13 litres.
A standard showerhead uses 20 litres of water per minute. A water efficient showerhead uses 9 litres per minute.
A standard toilet uses 12 litres of water per flush. A water efficient toilet uses 4 litres per flush.
A standard washing machine (based on 5.5kg) uses 140 litres (top loading) per wash. A water efficient washing machine uses approximately 65 litres (4 star front loading).
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