Since writing my post last week about the Cape Town water crisis, I’ve personally reflected on our household water usage. Like most people, I often take for granted the water that comes through my tap. But when you think of the plight of others where water is scarce, it can make you think twice about how you use water around the home. Like any parent, I do look at our bills and compare the costs from the previous quarter. Our recent water bill from Queensland Urban Utilities was lower than last quarter, and from the same quarter last year. So what did we do to reduce the usage and what can you do to slash your water bills?
Last night I shared some tips on what we do as a household with Alison Ariotti from Channel Nine News. You can check out the video below. Queensland Urban Utilities also shared some DIY changes you can do to use less water, without even thinking about it.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) February 14, 2018
And really, that is what it comes down to. Looking at your habits. Considering what you use water for and what rooms use the most. And then putting devices in place that allow you to automatically save water without thinking.
Here are some devices that I recommend installing, so you don’t have to think twice about the water you’re using.
Water Saving Devices to Help Slash Your Water Bills
One Touch Tap
I’ve written about these devices before, but they are an aerator that you can put on the end of any tap, and when the tap is on, it turns your tap into a One Touch Tap, where you tap the underside of the aerator and the water comes on. I only use these on the bath spout and in the kitchen as these are where my girls use water most often. What I love about these One Touch Tap aerators, is that if you ever need to change the washers or if the mixer spout drips water, the aerator won’t allow those drips to go down the drain, but you can still use the tap when needed.
Water Saving Aerators
These can be purchased from your local plumbing store (you need to check if you require male or female aerators before you head out). You simply remove the existing aerator on your tap spout and replace it with a water saving one. These will reduce the amount of water flowing through the spout. Most new taps will have a standard 3 Star WELS rating (or better) with an automatic reduced flow, but aerators are a great way to reduce the flow on older taps, or further on new taps, if needed.
Water Saving Shower Heads
I’ve again written about this before. Did you know that you’re better off installing a water saving shower head, and standing longer under the shower than restricting your shower time using a standard shower head? I explain more in this post. But to explain further:
If you use an unrestricted shower head that uses approximately 20 Litres of water for 4 minutes, you will use 80 Litres of water. But if you use a restricted shower head (9 Litres per minute) for 8 minutes, you will still have only used 72 Litres, which is still 8 litres less than having a shorter shower with a standard shower head. So it’s better to use a restricted shower rose and still enjoy a longer shower (if it’s warranted). And the best one to use is from Con-Serv as it doesn’t compromise on pressure.
Water Habits Around the Home
Whenever you turn your tap on, you’ve paid for that water that has come through the spout. So half-full drink bottles, cups and even water you’ve used in paddling pools, is water that you’ve paid for and should be re-used.
I tip all the half-full water bottles on my indoor plants and in the oil diffusers around my home. The water is usually room temperature and has been filtered through our Zip Tap. I try not to pour unused water down the sink. I’ve found I’m quite set in my ways now with this.
I also do a double check of taps around the home to ensure there are no leaks. When I see a drip, I know it’s time to get the washers replaced or change the ceramic disc spindles. The One Touch Tap aerators are great to have on for these circumstances until I can fix the leak.
Teaching kids how to be mindful about their water usage is important too. We get our girls not to have the water on while brushing their teeth and make sure they know which button on the toilet is used for number ones and number twos.
Sometimes a spike in our water bill will have me question our water usage. For example, we noticed a spike in our bill when we started giving the girls individual showers. We reverted back to bathing the girls together. But this will change again as they get older. Esther is nearing the age where she will want to shower alone.
Other spikes in water usage can be in yearly events like using a pressure cleaner to clean the roof, or if the water tank has been drained and town water is drawn upon for watering gardens and washing the car.
If you’re looking for more ways to save water, you can check out this post on 30 ways to save water around the home.
We saved $30 from our last water bill – which may not seem a lot, but if you multiplied that by four quarters, that’s $120 and it could have gone towards… a date night or a new dress.
My best advice is make it easy to save water by using devices that don’t make you think twice when turning on the tap.
Do you compare your water bills? How do you save water to slash your water bills? Were you able to catch Phoebe and I on Channel Nine last night?
Special thanks to Channel 9 Queensland for the feature on their water saving story last night.