Water conservation tips

Water is a precious resource we should conserve and use wisely at all times. While Kempsey Shire currently has no water restrictions, there have been many dry periods and droughts in our history. 

Saving water at home

There are many ways to save water at home. You can also buy water saving devices which will save you money in the long run.

In the bathroom

  • Try to limit your shower to four minutes. Each minute you save in the shower saves between 9 and 20 litres of water, depending on your showerhead. You could save at least 15,000 litres a year.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving. Brushing your teeth twice a day with the tap running can use more than 4000 litres per person each year.

In the toilet

  • A leaking toilet wastes up to 16,000 litres per year. To check if your toilet has a leak, put a drop of food dye in the cistern. Wait 15 minutes and check the water in the bowl. If the colour appears in the bowl, the cistern needs immediate repair.
  • Consider replacing older toilets with modern 6/3L or 4.5/3L dual flush toilets. This could save a family of four more than 35,000 litres a year. 
  • If you can’t afford a new toilet, install a cistern that lets you control how much water is being flushed.
  • Install a cistern displacement bag. This can save up to 1.8 litres of water for every full flush.

At the tap

  • A dripping tap can waste 20,000 litres a year and can often be fixed with a quick change of washer.
  • Install flow controllers and aerators in all taps and plumbing fixtures. These are an inexpensive way to save water and can be installed by any handy person or plumber.

In the kitchen

  • Use the plug when rinsing vegetables or dishes. A running tap can use between 9 and 20 litres of water every minute.
  • Rinse recyclables in your wash water. Instead of rinsing containers separately, rinse them in the sink after you’ve finished washing the dishes.
  • Only run the dishwasher with a full load. A full wash cycle can use between 10 and 30 litres of water per load, depending on the machine. Use the rinse and hold setting in between full loads.

In the laundry

  • Wait until you have a full load before washing. Depending on the model, a top loading washing machine can use more than 120 litres of water every cycle. Always adjust the water level to suit the size of the load.
  • When the time comes to replace your washing machine, choose a modern 4-star (or better) front loader to cut your water use by 50%.

In the pipes

  • Leaking pipes waste a lot of water, especially if they are underground and the leak is not noticed. Check the dials on your water meter when no water is being used. Overnight is a good time to do this test. If any of the dials have moved, you may have a leak and should contact a plumber.

How to save more than 50 litres of water every day

Activity

Approximate cost

Estimated saving

Reduce shower time by two minutes

$0

18 litres per day

Install a 3-star water efficient showerhead to save $100+ a year

$20-$85

Up to 45 litres per day

Use an aerator and place a bucket in the sink while waiting for hot water 

$6

9 litres per minute

Use a bucket in the shower while waiting for hot water

$1

9 litres per minute

Fix a dripping tap in your home

$1-$5

5-50 litres per day

Use a Fix-a-Flush or Water Wizz cistern weight for manual flush time

$12

10 litres per day

Fix a leaking toilet in your home

$5-$20

5-100 litres per day

Install a 4-star front loading washing machine

$500-$2000

57 litres per day

Install a 5000-litre rainwater tank connected to toilet and garden

$3000-$4000

50+ litres per day

Buy or convert a water-efficient urinal at work

$1500

275 litres per day per urinal

 

Saving water outside

Garden

  • Use a trigger hose, bucket or watering can to water your garden or wash your car.
  • Wash your car on the lawn to give your lawn a good watering at the same time.
  • Inspect your pool or spa often. A small leak can cause a loss of 3000 litres in one day.
  • Sweep outdoor areas using a broom instead of hosing them down.
  • Install flow-controlled aerators on outside taps.
  • Plant native trees and plants with low water requirements.
  • Collect your shower water to water plants.
  • Water your garden in the early morning or late afternoon to prevent water loss through evaporation.
  • Use good mulch. Mulching your garden beds can prevent up to 70 per cent of evaporation and discourage weed growth at the same time.

For more water-saving ideas, download our Water Saving Tips flyer(PDF, 320KB).

Waterwise Schools Program

The Waterwise Schools Program encourages students to use water responsibly and sustainably. The program links water sustainability to the curriculum in all major learning areas and encourages school and community participation.

Kempsey Shire Council sponsors the Waterwise Program through a regional partnership of local water authorities and Cascade Environmental Education Centre.

Frederickton Public School was the first school in Kempsey Shire to be recognised as a Waterwise School during National Water Week in 2007. Since then, 16 other local schools have joined the program and been accredited. 

Three reasons to become a Waterwise School

  • free education resources
  • free professional development for teachers
  • free education training

If you would like your school to become a Waterwise School, phone Kempsey Shire Council’s Customer Service centre on 6566 3200.