Saving water in the bathroom
Typically, about 40% of all household water use occurs in the bathroom.
Purchasing a new bathroom
In the past, if you were purchasing a new bathroom or a new house, it was common to make decisions based only on colour and decorating sense, and take pot-luck with the technology of the equipment. Today, you should consider whether you can afford to make decisions this way. today, if you select older-style equipment, it could cost an average size family $15.00 per year or more in water and energy compared to more informed selections.
When you select bathroom equipment, in approximate order of importance you should install:
- A low-flow shower head.
- A low-volume, dual -flush toilet.
- An aerated spout or tap at the sink.
You should also avoid having a bidet, unless you are prepared to pay the extra water and energy bills.
The shower is the second largest water user in most houses (after the garden).
Older style universal shower heads use 12 litres per minute or more. Newer low-flow shower heads typically use about 8-9 litres per minute.
A low-flow shower head is the best investment you will make all year. The water and energy that you use for a shower costs about $1.70 per kilolitre or more, so for a 10 minute shower there would be a saving of about 7 cents. Over the year, this is about $25.00 per person.
Typically, the toilet is the point in the house with the third largest water use, after the garden hose and the shower.
Low-volume, dual-flush toilets are not compulsory in Byron Shire (they are in many capital cities now, including Brisbane which insists on flush volumes of 6 litres and 3 litres). But they will save you a lot of money over time if you install them. They have about the same purchase price as the older single-flush volume type with high water consumption and can be bought in a range of colours and styles.
If you are getting a new toilet, get a good low-water use one. Conversion kits are available for some toilets to make them dual-flush. These are relatively cheap and can pay for themselves within a year or so from the savings in water.
Reducing water use in your present bathroom
If you already have a bathroom, you can reduce your water consumption by:
- Installing a low-flow shower head (these are quite cheap and there is a large range).
- Taking shorter showers.
- Adjusting the toilet to flush on the minimum; for modern toilets this is often 8 litres.
- Flushing the toilet only when necessary; don’t use it as a garbage disposal.
- Fixing any leaks in the equipment or the washers.
- Turning off the tap while you clean your teeth.
For many toilets you can get conversion kits to make it a dual-flush system. Toilets with a top press button are the easiest to convert.
Checking the toilet for leaks
you can check the toilet for leaks by putting food dye in the cistern and watching the water in the bowl to see if it starts to colour over the next few minutes. If it does, you need to replace the seal in the cistern.
Leaks and dripping taps can waste a lot of water. Fix them all as soon as possible.