Being Water Wise in Bathurst
Bathurst Regional Council is committed to conserving water and working with the community to preserve this precious resource. There are many things that we can all do to work together in order to be waterwise resulting in saving water as well as money.
Below are some tips on being waterwise and how to conserve water around your house, garden and in general. For more information click here.
Conserving Water at Home
There are many ways we can conserve water in all areas of the home whether you rent or own your home.
- Turn the tap off when you clean your teeth - this can save around 17 litres of water a minute
- Take shorter showers, you can also use a shower timer to reduce showering time.
- When doing your laundry wash only with a full load.
- Wash your vegetables in a partially filled sink, rather than under running water
- Only run your dishwasher when it's full
- Defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than under running water
- Check your household taps regularly for leaks and have them repaired as soon as you can
- Wash your car over grass so the grass gets a drink at the same time
If you have a leaking showerhead this can also waste water, the following video can assist you with replacing a leaking or inefficient showerhead, please click here.
For help with checking whether a toilet is leaking and wasting water please click here.
Leaking taps around the home can waste large amounts of water over time, for help with changing a tap washer please click here.
Saving water in the garden?
The warmer temperatures are a good reminder that summer and dry weather are upon us. Here are a few tips to make the most of the water we use in the garden this summer:
- Water your lawn only when it's needed. In summer, generally every 5 to 7 days.
- Position sprinklers so that water is not wasted on hard surfaces
- When mowing the lawn, set the blade higher - to at least 7.5cm this will shade grass roots as they grow deeper, which will in turn hold soil moisture more efficiently
- Aerating your lawn, even with a garden fork, will draw water to the root system, instead of letting the water escape as runoff
- Clean paths and driveways with a broom or blower, and only use a hose on hard surfaces for health or safety reasons
- Water lawns and gardens out of the heat of the day ie: before 10am or after 4pm.
- Use trigger nozzles on your hoses.
- Spreading a layer of mulch - woodchips, and even gravel or stone - over your flower beds and around trees prevents over 70 per cent of moisture evaporation from out of the soil. Aim for a layer 2.5-5cm thick.
- Water needs to reach around the top 15-20cm of soil. If you see more than 1cm of water in a puddle on the surface, then you've added too much. It will permeate the soil beyond your plants' roots, and go to waste.
- In all cases avoid watering leaves of plants - focus on the roots.
- The best type of plants for your garden are those native to your local climate. In Australia, they're often drought resistant and not too thirsty.
- If you're using a sprinkler system, make sure the water is actually landing on your garden, and not the footpath, road, or your paved areas.
- Consider replacing inefficient sprinkler systems in favour of drip irrigation. The advantage of drip irrigation is that it sends water to the roots of your plants.
If you are thinking about new plants for your garden, try using the plant finder tool located here to help select appropriate plants for our region.
What about Rainwater Tanks?
They're a great water saver and let you use stormwater to water the garden.
- Rainwater tanks save a large amounts of water which can be used in the garden or in the home.
- They often require a relatively simple system which is easy to use.
- During the wet season, when the garden doesn't need any extra watering, rainwater can be connected to the house and used for toilet flushing as well as in the laundry. Council's Plumbing and Drainage Inspectors should be contacted prior to connecting rainwater tanks to household plumbing.
- Rainwater is also suitable for use in pools and for washing cars
For more information on rainwater tanks, please click here
Why does Council have a Waterwise program?
Waterwise behaviours and messaging are promoted for a number of reasons. Primarily, the message is about conserving water wherever we use it, so that it is available for those times it is really needed (droughts, hot summers). Secondly there are opportunities for customers to save money on their water bill each quarter, by adopting waterwise practices. Electricity and gas bills can also be minimised.
Water efficient appliances and tapware are now standard in any new households, and can be included in renovation projects.
Waterwise practices are about conserving resources and this approach can be adopted in other aspects of our daily lives, leading to greater conservation and lower bills.
Being Waterwise is important for Bathurst as surface water is our only supply and is finite. Groundwater may not be available in significant quantities, and reuse of treated effluent (direct or indirect) may never achieve public acceptance in Australia in the next 30 years or more.