Looking for tips on how to conserve water in the bathroom? Australia often faces intense droughts, so it’s important that we all make smart decisions about our water usage. About 40 per cent of water usage in the Australian home occurs in the bathroom. Luckily, the bathroom is also one of the easiest places to conserve water. Here are 20 easy-to-follow expert tips to shrink your household’s water footprint and save water in the bathroom.
How To Conserve Water In The Bathroom
Water Saving Tip #1 Do A Home Water Audit
Do you know how much water your household uses? A home water audit can help pinpoint how much water you currently use. This is also the perfect time to set a goal for how much water your household will use this month or quarter.
Here are a couple of ways ways to measure your water use:
- Check your rates notice – This may show your household’s daily water consumption.
- Check your water meter – Water meters are usually located outside at the front of your property. Your water meter will be set in the ground in a blue or black box.
By checking your water consumption monthly, you can quickly detect any water wastage or unexplained increases in water use, such as a leak.
Water Saving Tip #2 Make Smart Choices About Bathing
Many people enjoy hot showers for the invigorating feel of the flowing warm water. Others love unwinding in a bath scented with bath salts. While the jury is out on which bathing method is more water-efficient (it seems to depend multifaceted factors, such as the size of your bathtub, how much you fill your tub, the type of shower head, how long your average shower is, and the intensity of your home’s water pressure), it’s easy to adjust your current habits to be more water-friendly.
Here’s a simple litmus test to tell which bathing method works best for you. Let’s assume the average bathtub typically holds between 94.6 litres to 132.5 litres of water, while the average shower head releases 9.5 litres of water per minute. If your average shower is shorter than 10 minutes, you’ll save more water by opting for a shower instead of a bath. If you love showers that are longer than 10 minutes, you may actually save more water by taking a bath.
Water Saving Tip #3 Take Quick Showers
Remember: Each minute of showering uses about 9.5 litres of water. If you take shorter showers that are less than 5 minutes long, you could save up to 4,000 litres per month! Timing how long you’re in the shower will help you keep track of time. Alternatively, you might try taking a cold shower to speed up your showering ritual.
Water Saving Tip #4 Collect Grey Water In The Shower
While you’re waiting for your shower water to reach the right temperature, place a bucket down to catch the falling water. If you have a wall-mounted showerhead, you can also try moving the bucket to a place on the side so it can continue to collect water as you wash. Use this bucket water, called ‘grey water’, to water your garden, flush the toilet or for cleaning.
Water Saving Tip #5 Install A Water-Saving Showerhead
Find the best low-flow showerhead within your budget. While this may cost more money up front, your water conservation efforts will save you money in the long run. A standard, non water efficient showerhead uses between 12 and 22 litres per minute, while a water saving showerhead uses 9 litres per minute or less.
Alternatively, you can install a flow regulator on your showerhead to reduce the water flow to 5 litres per minute.
Water Saving Tip #6 Turn Off The Shower When Lathering
We recommend choosing a showerhead with a dual-control lever so you can reduce or turn off water flow while lathering.
Water Saving Tip #7 Install A Steam Shower
Imagine coming home at the end of the day and stepping into a warm cloud of soothing steam. A steam shower is a much more water-efficient option for showering than both a bathtub and a conventional shower. By boiling water to steam, a steam shower uses just 7.5 litres of water for a 30-minute shower, compared to 270 litres for 30-minute shower with a water-efficient showerhead.
Water Saving Tip #8 Use Soap Instead Of Shower Gels
To save water, it’s best to select a neutral-pH soap, instead of shower gels or body wash. Shower gel typically takes more water to rinse off than soap, making it a less water-efficient choice.
Water Saving Tip #9 Use A Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank, delivering a constant supply of hot water. As a result, tankless water heaters help you save on electricity costs and uses less water because the water is heated at the point of use.
Water Saving Tip #10 Adjust The Temperature On Your Water Heating System’s Thermostat
Use a thermostat to regulate the temperature of your water heating system. This will help you avoid getting surprised by a too-hot temperature and wasting extra water as you quickly bring the temperature down.
Water Saving Tip #11 Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes
Insulating your hot water pipes guarantees that you won’t need to wait a long time for hot water to start flowing. This leads to saving both water and electricity.
Water Saving Tip #12 Plug Your Bathtub Before You Run The Tap
When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the tap to conserve water.
Water Saving Tip #13 Hang Your Bath Towels To Dry
Instead of washing your towel every day, you can save water by simply hanging your towel to dry after you use it.
Water Saving Tip #14 Turn Off The Tap While You Brush Your Teeth
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. This can save up to 15 litres per minute — the equivalent of 750 litres per week for a family of four. Encourage everyone in your house to do this simple water-saving trick.
Water Saving Tip #15 Plug Your Bathroom Sink
Plug the sink when washing your hands and face. You can reuse the water that collects in the sink elsewhere.
Water Saving Tip #16 Turn Off Faucets Tightly
Make a habit of turning faucets fully to stop drips. Teach kids to turn off faucets tightly after use.
Water Saving Tip #17 Install Faucet Aerators
Faucet aerators work by mixing air with water to reduce the litre per minute of water flow. Older faucets can use between 11 and 26 litres per minute. We recommend installing faucet aerators on your faucets to lower your water flow to 2 to 4 litres per minute.
Water Saving Tip #18 Turn Off The Tap While Shaving
Develop the habit of turning off the tap while shaving your face or body.
Water Saving Tip #19 Fix Leaks Promptly
Did you know that one drip from a leak each second adds up to almost 20 litres per day? That’s 140 litres per week, or 7,280 litres of wasted water in a year.
The easiest way to check your home for leaks is to check your water meter. Start by turning off all taps and stopping all water-using fixtures at your house. Locate your water meter, record the reading of your meter, make sure that no water is used within your test time frame, and after your test period, reread your meter. If the number of the meter has changed during the period of no water use, it’s safe to assume you have a leak.
Another telltale sign of a water leak is a sudden spike in your water bills. If you notice a drastic change in your water bill, it’s worth calling a qualified plumber to investigate.
Finally, test your toilets for leaks at least once a year. To check, simply put food colouring in your toilet tank. If the colour seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, there’s a leak that needs fixing.
Water Saving Tip #20 Install A High-Efficiency Toilet
High-efficiency toilets use less than 5 litres per flush, compared to regular toilets, which use up to 20 litres per flush. Installing a high-efficiency toilet with a half-flush option could cut your water use by as much as 20 percent, leading to huge savings over time.