Rainwater harvesting and water recycling are both ways of saving water and money at home. SmartPaani promotes the overall concept of water efficiency and there are some other “do it yourself” tips to optimize your water use and get the most out of each drop. The below tips from Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (sswm.info) offer valuable advice for any household:
Toilet Modification (Time or Money Required)
- Low flow toilets and dual flush toilets save considerable amounts of water. Source: MOOSICORN RANCH (2010)
- Determine if your toilet leaks. Put food colouring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save a lot of water a month (WATER USE IT WISELY n.y.).
- Replace your old toilet with a low flush toilet (6 litres per flush), a high efficiency model (4.8 litres per flush), or a dual model (3 or 6 litres per flush). Older toilet models can use mush more water per flush. A family of four people can save a lot of water a year with a low flush toilet, and even more with a high efficiency model. That is tentatively a 20% reduction in household consumption.
- Re-plumb your old toilet to use rainwater for flushing.
Water Tap User Changes
- Use foaming soap. This allows users to only use water for rinsing instead of for soaping up and rinsing.
Water Tap Modifications
- Install water tap aerators or more efficient fixtures.
Personal Washing User Modification
- Take showers instead of having baths.
- Take shorter showers. Shave your legs before taking a shower. Use running shower water to rinse off.
- Use a bucket to collect water while waiting for the shower to get hot.
- If taking a bath, only fill the tub with as much water as needed. Use less water for kids and pets.
- Use the water after having a bath for your garden, or use it to wash your car. Check that soaps and detergents in the water will not harm garden plants (read more about wastewater reuse at home).
- If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the shower head with a water-efficient model. Water efficient models can use as little as 8 litres per minute compared to older models that use 15-20 litres. Aerated shower heads can increase the pressure and reduce water usage making the shower as pleasant as before.
Clothes Washing User Changes
- Consider reusing greywater from the laundry for gardening, for instance in a vertical garden or greywater tower.
- Launder full loads when possible. Wash with a full load and you will save 10 litres of water each wash.
- If you have less than a full load, use the water-level control on your washing machine and turn the water supply to your washer off when not in use in case a hose leaks or breaks.
- Avoid washing clothes unnecessarily. Wash clothes to remove stains, not wrinkles.
- Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colours.
Purchase a More Efficient Clothes Washer
- Newer energy and water efficient washing machines can use up to 20% less water.
- When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They are more water and energy efficient.