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How to Conserve Water

Water charges are now a fact of Irish life. (Thank you Troika). This has made us all a bit more conscious of the way that we use, and indeed waste, water. Besides installing a water butt or two there are other things that you can do to save water and therefore save money.

Water Saving Tips for inside the House

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Keep a large jug of water in the fridge. Instead of letting the tap run when waiting for cold water, fill a jug of water and keep it in the fridge.

Use a basin to rinse/clean your fruit and vegetables. Instead of letting the tap run, use a basin to rinse your fruit and vegetables. And you can use the leftover water to water your potted plants.

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Thirty-three per cent of all the water used inside the house is flushed straight down the toilet. Some larger toilet cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Place a displacement device such as a block or a bottle filled with water into the cistern.

Check that your home is leak free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes. Did you know that a tap leaking one drop of water per second wastes more than 25 litres of water per day. That's 9,125 litres per year.

Only use your water-using appliances when they're full. A washing machine on full cycle uses up to 65 litres of water and dishwashers can use 20 litres. Only use your appliances when they're full. You will also reduce your energy bill.

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Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth can save over 7,000 litres of water per year! Use a cup of water for rinsing your teeth.

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Reduce the time you spend in the shower. A regular shower will use about 35 litres of water in 5 minutes But beware a power shower will use over 125 litres in the same time.

Know how to turn off your water supply . This could save thousands of litres of water and can prevent damage to your home in the event of a pipe burst.

Fill the kettle with just enough water for your needs. You will also save energy too.

Tips for Saving Water outside the House / in the Garden

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Use a bucket of water not a hose. A hose uses more water in one hour than the average family uses in a day. The car will be just as clean using a bucket of water. Always use a bucket and sponge to clean windows or wash your car instead of a hose.

Grass can survive for long periods without water and will quickly recover when the next rain showers arrive. Raising lawnmower blades to a higher level will help stop grass from scorching in warm weather. Leaving the clippings on the lawn protects roots and returns nutrients to the soil.

If you must water your plants, do it in the early morning or evening when it's cooler. Forget the hose and always use a watering can fitted with a rose. Or better still use a drip-irrigation system - the most efficient use of your precious H2O.

Using mulch such as wood chips, bark or gravel will help prevent water evaporation and will suppress weed growth saving water and the need for weeding. These are especially valuable for shrubs, flowerbeds and new plantings.

Fix dripping taps. A constantly dripping taps will waste water at the following rates:

  • 30 drops per hour = 1,008 gallons per year
  • 60 drops per hour = 2,016 gallons per year
  • 90 drops per hour = 3,036 gallons per year
  • 120 drops per hour = 4,044 gallons per year

Regularly check your outdoor taps, pipes and plumbing fixtures for leaks.

Use a basin in your sink to collect and reuse water for your garden plants.

Plant flowers and shrubs that like warm and dry conditions. Your local garden centre can give you advice. Gerry Daly advises that established trees and shrubs do not need to be watered even during prolonged dry spells. They will quickly recover and flourish with the first substantial fall of rain.


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