How to…save water in your household in five steps

Flickr: Navin Thakur

The following is a guest blog written by Nicolas Delville:

We all know that saving water will shave off a lot of the monthly household costs and help preserve this increasingly scarce resource. It is not just the amount of water that you use, whether you live in an area where water is scarce or an area where there is a regular rainfall, the energy in water used through heating it and pumping it around your home is also a cost to factor in.

Here are some tips to cut down on all the costs associated with water use.

1. Give your house a thorough check for leaks. If you don’t already have a water meter, install one and learn to read it as it may raise awareness of any extra water usage in your home. Then, check all of your plumbing for leaks. Test for a toilet leak by adding a few drops of food colouring to the bowl and seeing if it seeps out of the bottom when flushed and check for leaky taps. Undiscovered leaks could be wasting up to 500 gallons (2,275 litres – source: Which?) of water per day.

2. Wash clothes more water efficiently. Only do full loads of washing and try to wear clothes a few times before putting them in the laundry basket and try to avoid wearing more than one outfit per day. If you know you are going to be doing something messy, such as cross-country running or just gardening, keep a set of clothes aside that you can wear several times for this one use.

3. Change your washing habits. By switching from using the bath to the shower you will cut your water usage by two-thirds. If you leave the shower running when shaving, use a handheld nozzle and switch it on and off as needed to rinse of the suds. Similarly when brushing your teeth, don’t leave the tap running in between rinses.

4. In the back garden, save water using a water-butt fixed to a drain pipe which will catch rainwater. Most modern water butts will hold up to 50 gallons (227.5 litres – source: Which?) of water and often have a stop tap which you can use to fill up your watering can. If you can’t avoid using a sprinkler, adjust it as best you can so it waters only your lawn and plants, not the sidewalk or driveway. Also water early or late in the day to reduce evaporation.

5. When washing up after dinner, don’t spray off using the tap. You will save more money by investing in the right scrubbing brushes and scourers than trying to fruitlessly blast off the burnt bits by turning your tap on full blast! Use some elbow grease and scrub instead!

This article was written by Nicolas, passionate about saving water after an eye-opening course on water scarcity. After leaving his old city apartment and acquiring a new home in the Suffolk countryside, he has researched ways to maintain his property without wasting water.

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