Saving water in the kitchen
About 10% of all water used in the average household goes in the kitchen. These are the ways in which kitchen water is commonly used:
Dishwashers 30-90 litres per wash Dishwashing by hand 18 litres per wash Drinking, cooking, household cleaning 6-10 litres per person per day Waste disposal unit 30 litres per day
It is possible to save water in each one of these areas.
There are many types of taps, including the following ones that are useful for saving water.
Aerating taps and spouts) are relatively inexpensive and effective. They can reduce flow rates by up to 50% and provide the same ability of the stream to wash. They also reduce splashing.
Quarter-turn taps provide better control over water flow. Water savings are estimated at 5% of conventional taps. Also, because they have ceramic seats, they are less liable to leak.
Single-lever taps (mixing taps) can prevent wastage by avoiding the need to use separate hot and cold taps to balance water flow and temperature. They also have ceramic seats. Their water savings are similar to those for quarter-turn taps but are only suitable for mains pressure.
Spring-loaded and electronic taps turn off automatically. They are more suited to public and industrial use than to household.
Leaking taps are not only annoying, they can cost a lot of money. One drip per second is about 7kL per year. A steady dribble will waste hundreds of kilolitres per year and add considerably to your water bill. If the leak is from the hot water, you may have less of it when you want it and it will cost a lot of money for energy.
Garbage disposal units
These are very convenient, but on average they use about 30 litres of water per day and add considerably to the sewage problem. A better way to dispose of fruit and vegetable scraps is to compost them for the garden.
The water required for a dishwasher can be as low as 30 litres and as high as 90 litres per load.
When you are buying a dishwasher, always ask how much water is used per cycle because over the life of the machine this could be a more important consideration than the purchase price of the machine.
The lower water use dishwashers use water more efficiently than washing-up by hand (assuming normal care of water with hand-washing).
A dishwasher comes ready to connect to the hot or cold tap. Dishwashers connected to the cold tap are often more economical because some cold water is used for rinsing.
Some helpful hints
- Never wash the plates under running water; use a bowl of water or fill the sink.
- Peeling vegetables under running water wastes a lot; use a bowl of water or fill the sink.
- Do not use hot water when cold will do.
- Fix all leaks and drips as soon as possible; the water is valuable.
- Some dishwashers have economy cycles which use less water. Select these where appropriate. Generally, they clean ordinary dishes but not heavily soiled cooking utensils.
- Always wait until the dishwasher is full before using it; this gives the best economy.