Water Saving Hints
Here are some general tips for saving water around your property.
Check your water scheme to see if you are on a water restriction as this will affect the types of activities you are able to undertake.
If you see water seeping through the road or footpath please report it to Hurunui District Council Customer Services, phone 03 314-8816.
- Water during the early parts of the day; avoid watering when it's windy. Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defence against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it's windy - wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation. Place the sprinkler where it won't land on driveways or the street. Better still, use a drip or spray system.
- Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn it off. Your garden hose can pour out 2,700 litres or more in just a few hours, so don't leave the sprinkler running all day.
- Deep-soak your lawn - When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.
- Use mulch on gardens to conserve water.
- Use water emptied through your washing machine hose to water the garden.
- Clean driveways with a broom rather than a hose.
- Use a bucket of soapy water to clean your car, boat or bike and only use the hose to rinse off.
In the Laundry
- Make sure every load in the washing machine is a full one.
- If you must wash small loads, use the lowest water level the machine provides.
- Use the 'suds-saver' feature if your machine has one. It reuses warm, soapy water.
- Repair leaky taps, hoses or fittings - that goes for sinks, basins and outside taps, too.
In the Bathroom and Toilet
- A three-minute shower can use less than half the quantity of water needed for a bath.
- Install low-flow shower heads or a volume control valve. Low-flow shower heads reduce the water used but do not reduce the quality of the shower.
- Turn the tap off while cleaning your teeth.
- Install a dual-flush toilet. You save five litres when you use the half-flush.
- Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or rubbish bin- Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of rubbish, five to 13 litres of water is wasted.
- Check your toilets for leaks - Put a little food colouring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the colour begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
In the Kitchen
- Don't wash vegetables or rinse dishes under a running tap. Put the plug in or use a bowl.
- Make sure automatic dishwashers are full. If buying a dishwasher, get one that uses less than 25 litres of water per wash.
- When boiling vegetables, use just enough water to cover them and use a tightly fitting pot lid. Alternatively, use a microwave oven.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
- Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units - In-sink 'garburators' require lots of water to operate properly, and also add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge - running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge.
- Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering plants or cleaning.
- Help your children understand the importance of water conservation.
- Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants. If you are planting a new lawn, or overseeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses.
Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Many native plants will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Plant slopes with plants that will retain water and help reduce run-off. Group plants according to their watering needs.
- Try to do one thing each day that will result in a saving of water. Don't worry if the savings are minimal, every drop counts!