Waterwise 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. Below are some tips on being waterwise and how to conserve water around your house, garden and in general.

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

What about 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. In winter, it's every 10 to 14 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.

What about Swimming Pools?

Swimming pools and spas can use a lot of water, so it is important to look for ways to conserve water whilst enjoying time in the pool.

  • If you have a swimming pool, upgrade your filter to a water efficient model that reduces the wastage of back-flushing.
  • Cover the swimming pool when it's not in use, as the cost of installation is covered by the benefits. These include keeping the water clean and reducing the need for filtering, keeping the water warmer for longer, reducing evaporation by up to 90 per cent and reducing the demand for chemicals.
  • Contact your pool supplier to discuss these benefits and the latest range of pool water saving products.
  • Encourage people not to jump about or splash water out of the pool, this will save having to keep filling the pool up

Water Saving Appliances

Looking for that special gift for someone?

  • Shower timers are a great way of helping children keep track of how long they spend under the shower
  • Waterless car wash products are a good way of keeping the car clean without using water, ideal for Dad
  • Mulch, water storage crystals and water efficient irrigation are just some of the products that would be ideal for a keen gardener
  • Pool covers not only stop water evaporation but also stop leaves entering the pool, so more time swimming over the holidays
  • Water efficient taps and showerheads use far less water and come in a range of attractive designs, ideal for home renovator

Saving water at school

There are many ways that we can save water at school; here are a few tips for students.

  • Don't leave taps dripping after washing your hands, make sure they are off the whole way
  • Tell someone when you see a leaking bubbler or tap or toilet - leaks waste a lot of water
  • As a class activity, why not design signs to go near taps and toilets that tell everyone at school how they can save water
  • In art classes wash paintbrushes in a bucket or ice-cream container - don't use running water
  • Watering of sporting ovals, gardens and grassed areas should be done out of the heat of the day, preferably over night

Saving water on holidays

Holidays are great, spending time with family and friends. Remember there are still plenty of easy things that we can all do when on holidays to continue to save water in our region and when travelling.

  • Cover the swimming pool when it's not in use, with a proper pool cover - the cost of installation is covered by the benefits
  • Encourage people not to jump about or splash water out of the pool, this will save having to keep filling the pool up
  • Remind visitors to your home that it is important to conserve water and there are things they can do to help
  • When going on holidays look out for local information about water conservation - different areas may have restrictions in place
  • If you are staying in a hotel, re-use the towels and linen rather than have them washed every day
  • Take your waterwise practices, such as shorter showers with you when travelling on holidays
  • Wash your car or boat on the grass so that the run-off will water the grass
  • Check your swimming pool or spa for leaks to ensure they are not using water unnecessarily

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

Council is working hard to conserve water too

Council is committed to conserving water across the Bathurst Region. Through the use of improved technology, by managing our water assets well and sometimes by changing the way we do things, we have succeeded in conserving water in many areas, some examples include:

  • Educating and encouraging Council staff to be waterwise at work and at home
  • Closely monitoring water consumption and working with the community to reduce water wastage
  • Maintaining our water assets to a high standard and taking a proactive approach to upgrades
  • Identifying and repairing water leaks quickly and safely
  • Using recycled water as much as possible at the Wastewater Treatment Works (up to 2 million litres per day)
  • Installing water efficient fittings and appliances such as taps and toilets at many of Council's facilities

In 2015/2016, Council will continue to work with Bathurst residents to ensure we act together to conserve this precious resource.

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.

Celebrating Australia Day

Australia Day is a great time to reflect upon all the good things about living where we do. We are very privileged to have wide open spaces, beautiful parks, gardens and sporting fields and clean waterways amongst many other things. It is important to look after these things in the right way and that means using water wisely where we can. There are lots of easy things you and your family can do this Australia Day to make sure we conserve water: 

  • If you have having a BBQ, make sure you rinse salad ingredients or vegetables in the sink and not under a running tap
  • When in the pool, make sure splashing is kept to a minimum to avoid having to re-fill the pool with water
  • Wash your car or boat on the grass so that the run-off will water the grass
  • Water your garden and lawns only in the morning or evening avoiding the heat of the day (before 10am and after 4pm)
  • Talk to your neighbours about all things waterwise when out and about this long weekend

Let's work together to conserve this precious resource for future generations of Australians.

Saving water at work

There are many ways to save water whilst at work, no matter what type of workplace you have.

  • Report leaking taps and toilets as soon as you notice them
  • Ask your employer to install inexpensive aerators in taps in kitchen and bathroom areas
  • Water indoor plants by using a moisture meter to avoid over watering
  • Adjust the sprinkler timer with the seasons and water outdoor landscaping early in the morning or later in the day
  • Use a broom to clean hard surfaces unless water is required for health reasons

These are just some of the ways we can conserve this precious resource whilst at work.

Waterwise Bathurst - Saving water is good business

There are a range of easy ways that small business can also help to save water in our region

  •  Ask your employees to report any leaking taps and have them repaired as soon as possible
  • Make sure that you use drought tolerant plants when landscaping and water plants out of the heat of the day
  • Install water efficient appliances wherever possible such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Ensure toilets are dual flush and water efficient
  • Invite staff for their input and ideas on water use and how it can be reduced

These are just some of the ways we can conserve this precious resource whilst at work.

Waterwise Bathurst - Saving water all year round

As Summer comes to an end, Council invites residents to think about ways we can all save water year round. Even in cooler weather it is important to maintain waterwise behaviour.

  •  Water gardens in the morning or evening, before 10am or after 4pm
  • Check sprinklers and irrigation equipment to make sure they only water soft surfaces
  • Make sure you have a full load before using the washing machine or dishwasher
  • Consider water efficient models if you have to replace washing machines, toilets or dishwashers
  • Take the opportunity to repair leaking taps as they can waste a large amount of water
  • Turn the tap off whilst brushing your teeth or shaving

There are lots of ways to save water all year round, in your home or garden, at work, school and in agriculture.

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 minimized.

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.

Another benefit for Council and customers is that the need to undertake major multi-million dollar capacity upgrades at the water and sewer treatment plants are deferred into the future, deferring any significant increase in bills.

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.

 

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