Most Victorian homes use an average of 400 litres of water every day, 80 litres of which is effectively flushed down the toilet. There are many ways that well designed plumbing systems can help you save water around the house or in the office.
If you are planning to install water saving devices, always ensure you use a licensed plumber for any plumbing installations.
Rebates are offered by the Victorian Government on a range of water saving products, including:
- permanent grey water diversion/treatment systems
- rainwater tanks
- dual-flush toilets
- 3 Star (AAA) showerheads
- water conservation audits, and
- high-pressure cleaning devices.
For further information, visit the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
In the Home
Saving water around the home can be achieved in many ways:
Checking for leaks
Leaking taps, pipes or dishwasher hoses can waste more than 2,000 litres of water per month. Checking for leaks is a cheap and easy way to save water. Replace washers regularly to avoid leaks.
Installing water efficient tapware
Water efficient taps and showerheads can save up to $100 a year in water and energy costs. Combining water efficient tapware with aerators and flow restrictors can help reduce water use by 50 per cent compared with standard tapware.
Turning off taps
Leaving taps running when not in use can waste up to 17 litres per minute. Ensure you turn off taps when brushing teeth, washing vegetables or cleaning.
Taking shorter showers can save hundreds of litres of water each year.
Installing a dual flush toilet
Dual flush toilets are water efficient and use up to 60 per cent less water than single flush toilets.
Installing water efficient appliances
Appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines can often use a large amount of water. When purchasing water-using appliances, ensure you choose a product that has a high water efficiency rating – look out for the WELS label.
You can reuse some of your household wastewater, known as greywater, to use for watering your garden or for toilet flushing.
In the Garden
There are a number of ways you can design a garden that is water-wise – one that you can enjoy, even during the toughest conditions.
Select drought tolerant plants
Most nurseries now offer a wide range of low water-use plants and shrubs designed to endure drought conditions. Water efficient plants will reduce the amount of water your garden needs and can look good all year round.
Mulch your garden
Using organic mulch, like cow/chicken manure or compost, can improve the quality and water retention of your soil. Mulched garden beds retain more water and require water less often. Look out for new products that can assist your soil to retain water.
Giving your plants a good soak once a week or less will help them develop their root systems more effectively than a light, regular spray. Healthy plants are more likely to survive tough conditions.
Install a rainwater tank
Collecting rainwater can supplement your water sources for the home and garden.
Use recycled water
Installing a greywater system can provide a great source of water for your garden.
Regular weeding will stop weeds from competing for water with your plants.
Using a below ground drip irrigation system can deliver water straight to the roots of your plants, where they need it most. Below ground watering systems are important if you are using recycled water to reduce the health risks associated with greywater.
Guide to Water Saving in Fire Sprinkler Systems
Fire sprinkler water conservation is focused on identifying the opportunities for cutting the amount of water used in maintaining fire sprinkler systems, and the steps needed to adopt these opportunities. All of the opportunities adhere to the fundamental principle that water-saving changes must not compromise the effectiveness of fire protection for Victoria's buildings.
Seven main opportunities for reducing water consumption have been identified. They are:
- Pressure setting adjustment projects
- Adoption of Australian Standard 1851: 2005 (AS1851: 2005)
- Pressure reduction projects
- Recirculation of fire sprinkler water
- Capture and further use of fire sprinkler water
- Better zoning of fire sprinkler installations
- Better management of fire sprinkler draindowns and recharging.