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Top ten water saving tips

February 1, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Perhaps you made a New Year’s resolution to improve your green credentials or maybe you have recently had a water meter fitted and are keeping an eye on your budget. Either way, you will be interested to find out about the top ten water saving tips approved by the Water Saving Group (WSG).

The WSG was started in October 2005 with the aim of bringing together all the key players in the industry to encourage consumers to adopt a more “waterwise” lifestyle. After all, water is an extremely precious resource which we tend to take for granted in this country. It is not, however, as plentiful as we may think.

Here are the WSG’s top ten tips:

  • Don’t leave the tap running when you clean your teeth, wash your hands, shave or wash the dishes. This can save six litres of water per minute.
  • If your tap is dripping, replace the washer. One dripping tap can be responsible for wasting 15 litres of water a day.
  • Do you put the dishwasher on at the same time each day? Wait until you have a full load and do the same with the washing machine. Even if you have a machine with a half load function, it will still use more than 50% of the water and energy needed for a full load.
  • If you’re making a cup of tea, there is no need to boil a whole kettle of water. Just use enough for your immediate requirements and this will also save energy.
  • Old toilets use 9 litres of water per flush so if you are buying a new one, make sure it is one with a low flush or dual flush function. If you have no plans to replace your existing model, fit a “hippo” in the cistern to reduce the water used when you flush.
  • If you are scraping dirty potatoes and vegetables, it is tempting to leave the tap running. By filling a bowl with water instead, you can not only reduce the amount of water used but also use the water in the garden afterwards.
  • Make sure that your water pipes and garden taps are insulated to avoid the risk of burst pipes.
  • Use a water butt for collecting rain water for the garden and use a watering can whenever possible. If you have to use a hosepipe, buy one with an adjustable nozzle to control the flow.
  • Half an hour of using a hose will consume more water than the average family uses in a day, so when washing your car stick to the old fashioned bucket and sponge. You can always use a watering can for rinsing.
  • Try to make fundamental changes to your lifestyle such as having a shower instead of a bath. In general, a five minute shower uses around a third of the water needed for a bath, although power showers can use more than a bath in under five minutes. Think drought-resistant plants when it comes to the garden. For information on suitable plants see the Royal Horticultural Society’s website.

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