Ways to Conserve Water

Water conservation has risen in importance in Irish households since the introduction of water charges, so we have pulled together some tips on reducing your water usage and conserving water in your home.

Shopping List

  • Water butt
  • Bucket
  • Water saving shower head
  • Shower timer
  • Aerated tap fitting
  • Efficient toilet flush system

Here are a number of small and simple yet effective measures to help you keep those bills down.

Fix Drips & Leaks

That annoying, repetitive dripping sound isn't simply a nuisance; just one drop per minute can waste up to 190 litres of water per year.

Leaks and drips will waste around 10% of your water supply, costing you money for no good reason. Address leaking toilets, pipes and dripping taps as a priority.

Check toilets for leaks first. If you can see or hear water flowing into the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Some leaks are silent however; to check for these, add a few drops of food colouring into the cistern. If the colouring appears in the bowl within 20 minutes, you have a leak.

Fully Load Appliances

Try to pack as much into each dishwasher and washing machine load as possible. Some washing machines have programmes designed for smaller loads, which are a great option when required as they will adjust the water level accordingly.

Don’t pre-rinse dishes under the tap before placing them in the dishwasher. If they are encrusted and need a bit of work before they’re put in the dishwasher, soak them all in the one sink or basin of water; all you have to do is soften the deposit, the dishwasher will then clean them properly.

Install a Water Butt

A water butt will collect and store rainwater from your gutters, and make it easy to access and use. Most water butts even feature a tap that can be connected directly to your pressure washer. This rainwater is ideal for watering your plants, which actually prefer rainwater to tap water that contains salt and chlorine. The collected rainwater is also ideal for outdoor cleaning jobs. Aside from the small cost of a water butt it doesn’t cost you anything, while also helping to keep your water charges down. See our guide on how to install a water butt.

Saving Water in the Bathroom

  • Use the shower rather than the bath, it will use less water.
  • Turn the water off while you brush your teeth or shave.
  • Leave a bucket near the shower and use it to collect the water that runs while you wait for the temperature to regulate. This water can be used for watering plants or for household and cleaning jobs such as washing floors and windows.
  • Shower quickly! Even five minutes less in the shower can save up to 75 litres of water.

Saving Water in the Kitchen

  • Switch from boiling to steaming as a cooking method to reduce your water usage.
  • For a cold drink, keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap.
  • Use an energy efficient dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. Surprisingly it uses much less water.
  • If your dishwasher was made in or before 1994, it will use on average 37 litres more water per cycle than a newer model; so hanging onto your old model may be a false economy.

Water Saving Gadgets

You can now find a selection of innovative water conservation accessories at hardware stores, which will either make existing appliances more efficient or help you in your efforts to use less water. Some examples include specialised shower heads, shower timers/alarms, water flow restrictors for taps, water displacement apparatus for toilets, and new low water toilet flushing systems.