Precision Meters: Effective use of Water (Part B)

System Users – Residential, Industry and Agriculture:

b) Behavioural:
These recommendations involve changing water usage habits and can be applied both indoors in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room and outdoors so that water is used more efficiently, thus reducing the overall water consumption.

Integral and fundamental to behavioural practices is the incorporation of all or most of the above so as to minimise overall water usage.

Around the House:
It’s quite amazing just how much water is ‘lost’ by dripping taps so replace the washers when a drip is found.

Don’t water the garden during the heat of the day as this is when evaporation is at it highest.

Water pressure tends to increase after hours so be careful that sprinkler systems are not spraying water onto hard surfaces which then discharge into the drainage system thus robbing the user of water instead.

Do you know the pattern of your water usage? No! Then go and read you water meter at regular intervals and record the amounts – you might be shocked to discover that the amounts seem unexplained and so could indicate a leak that is undetected.

Better still, why not purchase your own water meter, have it installed if unable to in a position that is in your premises, perhaps mounted on a wall where it is easy to access, so that you are then able to easily check your water usage pattern/s as well as the amount that you are being billed for.

Tip! Listen for any clicking sound or watch carefully for any movement of the water meter’s dial or numbers when you know that there are no taps running – if clicking is heard or movement seen, then you are likely to have a leak somewhere.

Check all around the house and grounds for any damp patches or call a plumber to investigate further and fix the problem, if you are unable to do so yourself.


In the Kitchen:

36 to 75 litres of water a day can be saved by running the dishwasher only when it is full. If dishes are washed by hand, water can be saved by filling the sink or a dishpan with water rather than running the water continuously.

Always use the correct amount of water as specified by the recipe as this will also save on the amount of energy used too.

Rather heat water in an electric kettle to wash small amounts of crockery and cutlery than use water from the hotwater cylinder as this will not only save on water but, more importantly, save on electricity that would be used to re-heat the now cooler hotwater cylinder’s water.

In the Bathroom:
• Turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving.
• Take short showers rather than long showers or baths.
• Turn the water off while soaping.

In the Laundry:
Adjust water levels in the washing machine to match the size of the load. If the washing machine does not have a variable load control run the machine only when it is full.

When hand washing laundry, the water should not be left running. Laundry tubs should be filled and the wash and rinse water should be reused in the garden as much as possible.

The Car:
As much as 400 litres of water can be saved when washing a car by turning the hose off between rinses and it should be washed on the lawn if possible for more effective use of the water, rather than allowing this, along with the residues from washing, to run into the gutter.

Sidewalks & Driveways:
Sweep these and then add the sweepings to the compost heap instead of hosing these down. Washing a sidewalk or driveway with a hose uses about 180 litres of water every 5 minutes.

Swimming Pool:
Water can be saved by using a cover over the pool it when it is not in use. This also saves on pool chemicals and keeps leaves etc out of the pool. Take particular note of seemingly abnormal water loss by noting the water level at a particular mark on the pool wall as this could signal a leak in the pipework or a the filter / pump. REMEMBER TO KEEP THE POOL SECURE AGAINST UN-SUPERVISED ACCESS BY CHILDREN.

Most of the above has a direct link to the use of energy i.e. by saving water consumption, less energy will be required to supply the water in the first instance and secondly because less water will be heated when using low flow plumbing fittings.

Less energy usage interprets directly into a lower carbon footprint both for the user as well as for the supplier. This is an extremely important aspect considering the changing global weather patterns, now occurring, which are putting increasing pressure on the worlds resources.

Unless there is a very concerted effort, in the very near term by all nations of the world, into curbing wasteful consumption of primarily hydrocarbons and water resources, there is little likely hood of a turnaround in the immediate future.

This lack of progress is, however, no reason to defer or to ignore the recommendations above as it is well within each individual’s ability to change for the better as these changes, no matter how small, will aggregate and produce results.

An added bonus, to using water more effectively, is spending less money too which is always welcome to counter the ravages of inflation.

Precision Meters: Effective use of Water (Part B)

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