Water Conservation

Lithgow City Council is committed to conserving water and working with the community to preserve this precious resource. There are many things that we can all do to work together in order to be waterwise. Below are some tips on being waterwise and how to conserve water around your house, garden and in general.

Conserving Water at home
There are many ways we can conserve water in all areas of the home whether you rent or own your home.
  • Turn the tap off when you clean your teeth - this can save around 17 litres of water a minute
  • Take shorter showers, you can also use a shower timer to reduce showering time
  • When doing your laundry wash only with a full load
  • Wash your vegetables in a partially filled sink, rather than under running water
  • Only run your dishwasher when it's full
  • Defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than under running water
  • Check your household taps regularly for leaks and have them repaired as soon as you can
  • Wash your car over grass so the grass gets a drink at the same time

 

What about the garden?

The warmer temperatures are a good reminder that summer and dry weather are upon us. Here are a few tips to make the most of the water we use in the garden this summer:

  • Water your lawn only when it's needed. In summer, generally every 5 to 7 days. In winter, it's every 10 to 14 days
  • Position sprinklers so that water is not wasted on hard surfaces
  • When mowing the lawn, set the blade higher - to at least 7.5cm this will shade grass roots as they grow deeper, which will in turn hold soil moisture more efficiently
  • Aerating your lawn, even with a garden fork, will draw water to the root system, instead of letting the water escape as runoff
  • Clean paths and driveways with a broom or blower, and only use a hose on hard surfaces for health or safety reasons
  • Water lawns and gardens out of the heat of the day ie: before 10am or after 4pm.
  • Use trigger nozzles on your hoses.
  • Spreading a layer of mulch - woodchips, and even gravel or stone - over your flower beds and around trees prevents over 70 per cent of moisture evaporation from out of the soil. Aim for a layer 2.5-5cm thick.
  • Water needs to reach around the top 15-20cm of soil. If you see more than 1cm of water in a puddle on the surface, then you've added too much. It will permeate the soil beyond your plants' roots, and go to waste.
  • In all cases avoid watering leaves of plants - focus on the roots.
  • The best type of plants for your garden are those native to your local climate. In Australia, they're often drought resistant and not too thirsty - check out some great ideas for garden design and plants at savewater.
  • If you're using a sprinkler system, make sure the water is actually landing on your garden, and not the footpath, road, or your paved areas.
  • Consider replacing inefficient sprinkler systems in favour of drip irrigation. The advantage of drip irrigation is that it sends water to the roots of your plants.

 

What about Swimming Pools?

Swimming pools and spas can use a lot of water, so it is important to look for ways to conserve water whilst enjoying time in the pool.

  • If you have a swimming pool, upgrade your filter to a water efficient model that reduces the wastage of back-flushing.
  • Cover the swimming pool when it's not in use, as the cost of installation is covered by the benefits. These include keeping the water clean and reducing the need for filtering, keeping the water warmer for longer, reducing evaporation by up to 90 per cent and reducing the demand for chemicals.
  • Contact your pool supplier to discuss these benefits and the latest range of pool water saving products.
  • Encourage people not to jump about or splash water out of the pool, this will save having to keep filling the pool up

 

Water Saving Appliances

Looking for that special gift for someone?

  • Shower timers are a great way of helping children keep track of how long they spend under the shower
  • Waterless car wash products are a good way of keeping the car clean without using water, ideal for Dad
  • Mulch, water storage crystals and water efficient irrigation are just some of the products that would be ideal for a keen gardener
  • Pool covers not only stop water evaporation but also stop leaves entering the pool, so more time swimming over the holidays
  • Water efficient taps and showerheads use far less water and come in a range of attractive designs, ideal for home renovator

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Saving water at school

There are many ways that we can save water at school; here are a few tips for students.

  • Don't leave taps dripping after washing your hands, make sure they are off the whole way
  • Tell someone when you see a leaking bubbler or tap or toilet - leaks waste a lot of water
  • As a class activity, why not design signs to go near taps and toilets that tell everyone at school how they can save water
  • In art classes wash paintbrushes in a bucket or ice-cream container - don't use running water
  • Watering of sporting ovals, gardens and grassed areas should be done out of the heat of the day, preferably over night

 

Saving water on holidays

Holidays are great, spending time with family and friends. Remember there are still plenty of easy things that we can all do when on holidays to continue to save water in our region and when travelling.

  • Cover the swimming pool when it's not in use, with a proper pool cover - the cost of installation is covered by the benefits
  • Encourage people not to jump about or splash water out of the pool, this will save having to keep filling the pool up
  • Remind visitors to your home that it is important to conserve water and there are things they can do to help
  • When going on holidays look out for local information about water conservation - different areas may have restrictions in place
  • If you are staying in a hotel, re-use the towels and linen rather than have them washed every day
  • Take your waterwise practices, such as shorter showers with you when travelling on holidays
  • Wash your car or boat on the grass so that the run-off will water the grass
  • Check your swimming pool or spa for leaks to ensure they are not using water unnecessarily

 

What about Rainwater Tanks?

They're a great water saver and let you use stormwater to water the garden.

  • Rainwater tanks save a large amounts of water which can be used in the garden or in the home.
  • They often require a relatively simple system which is easy to use.
  • During the wet season, when the garden doesn't need any extra watering, rainwater can be connected to the house and used for toilet flushing as well as in the laundry.  Council's Plumbing and Drainage Inspectors should be contacted prior to connecting rainwater tanks to household plumbing.
  • Rainwater is also suitable for use in pools and for washing cars

 

Saving water at work

There are many ways to save water whilst at work, no matter what type of workplace you have.

  • Report leaking taps and toilets as soon as you notice them
  • Ask your employer to install inexpensive aerators in taps in kitchen and bathroom areas
  • Water indoor plants by using a moisture meter to avoid over watering
  • Adjust the sprinkler timer with the seasons and water outdoor landscaping early in the morning or later in the day
  • Use a broom to clean hard surfaces unless water is required for health reasons

These are just some of the ways we can conserve this precious resource whilst at work.

Saving water is good business

There are a range of easy ways that small business can also help to save water in our region

  • Ask your employees to report any leaking taps and have them repaired as soon as possible
  • Make sure that you use drought tolerant plants when landscaping and water plants out of the heat of the day
  • Install water efficient appliances wherever possible such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Ensure toilets are dual flush and water efficient
  • Invite staff for their input and ideas on water use and how it can be reduced

These are just some of the ways we can conserve this precious resource whilst at work.

 

Save Water

For more great ideas for saving water visit

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