Water - Let's Treat It Right
The Cassowary Coast is home to nearly 30,000 residents using 5,000 million litres of water each year. Based on the current average water use, it is estimated that 40% is utilised for residential purposes.
Water is a precious resource and we must be mindful and responsible in the way we use water.
There are many ways to reduce our water both inside and outside our homes. Click below for tips and tricks on how to treat water right!
Water saving tips at home
- Switch to a water-efficient shower head to save up to 11 litres of water a minute.
- Install a water-efficient aerator on taps to save up to 13.75 litres of water a day.
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, this can save 5 litres of water a minute.
- Take shorter showers, save 9 litres of water a minute.
- Fix dripping taps. A leaking tap can waste up to 50 litres of water a day.
- Check the temperature as you fill the bath so you don’t need to change the temperature when the bath is already full.
- Put the plug in the bath before turning on the tap.
- Choose a dual-flush toilet and use the half flush.This can save up to 30 litres of water a day.
- Don’t flush needlessly. Use the half flush option on dual-flush toilets and remember not to flush wet wipes because they can block your drains.
- Check for leaks in the toilet by placing a few drops of food dye into the cistern. If, after 15 minutes, the food dye has seeped into the bowl, there may be a leak. A leaking toilet can use up to 16,000 litres of water a year.
- Install a water-efficient aerator on taps to save an average of 13.75 litres a day.
- Fix dripping taps, this can save up to 50 litres of water a day.
- Don’t rinse dishes under a running tap. If you have two sinks, use one to wash and the other to rinse the dishes. Rinsing dishes under running water uses up to 15 litres a minute.
- Use washing-up liquid sparingly to reduce the amount of rinsing required.
- If you’re installing a new dishwasher, choose a water-efficient model. Check the appliance for a WELS label: the more stars, the more water efficient it is.
- Scrape plates clean instead of rinsing.
- Only turn on the dishwasher when it’s full and use short cycles when you can. This can save thousands of litres of water a year.
- Part fill a bowl with water when preparing vegetables or washing fruit instead of running them under the tap. The leftover water can be used to water the garden.
- Don’t use running water to defrost food.
- Choose a front-loading washing machine with a 4-star WELS rating or higher. You could use up to 50% less water than lower WELS-rated machines.
- Front-loading washing machines use less water than top loaders. In some cases they use up to 70% less water and could save 36,000 litres of water a year.
- Sort clothes and wash bigger loads less frequently. Doing this will save thousands of litres of water a year.
- Pre-treat stains before washing.
- When hand washing delicate fabrics, only use as much water as you need in the sink or bucket.
You don’t need to use large amounts of water to keep your car and driveway clean. Waterless and water-efficient car washes and high pressure cleaners mean you can clean the car and be water efficient.
- The average hose with a trigger or twist nozzle uses 15 – 20 litres of water a minute.
- Use a bucket of soapy water or a high pressure cleaning unit to wash your car at home. This can save 8 litres of water a minute.
- Wash your car on the grass so runoff can water your lawn.
- Commercial car washing facilities use recycling systems which capture, clean and re-use the wash water to maximise water efficiency.
- Water your garden before 8.00am and after 4.00pm to avoid losing 50% of the water to evaporation.
- Water your garden less frequently but for longer periods to encourage deeper root growth.
- Use a trigger nozzle on your hose.
- Avoid watering when it is windy. Wind causes water to evaporate quickly and blows it to areas where it is not needed.
- Mulch your garden beds. Mulching reduces up to 70% of water evaporation from soil. It can also give plants important nutrients and control weed growth.
- When adding new plants to your garden, prepare the garden bed with good soil, water-storing granules and wetting agents.
- Only water until the top 15-20cm of soil is wet – this is a standard drink for gardens. If you have more than 10mm of water pooling above the soil, the water will seep past the feeder root zone and be wasted.
- Check the weather forecast before watering your gardens. If rain is forecast, let nature do it for you!
- Accept a less-than-lush lawn during dry periods. Grass will readily regenerate when water becomes available.
- Minimise grass areas in the yard. Replace them with water-efficient landscaping.
- Install a rainwater tank. Capturing rainwater to use in your garden is an excellent way to reduce the amount of drinking water you use outdoors. This can save thousands of litres of water a year.
- Install drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is affordable and easy to install in the garden. The drip system is placed at the base of the plants and water slowly drips throughout the day.
- Sweep your driveways and footpaths instead of hosing them with water. This can save up to 11 litres of water a minute.
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation by up to 90% and save up to 36,000 litres of water a year. Covering the pool lowers the water temperature, decreases evaporation and stops debris falling in the pool.
- Increase shade over the pool to help reduce evaporation.
- Landscape around the pool with walls and hedges to create shelter from the wind. This will help to reduce water loss.
- Top up your swimming pool with tank water or a rainwater diverter. Rainwater diverters attached to a downpipe will divert rainwater into your swimming pool.
- Consider keeping the water level several centimetres lower to prevent water spillage. Swimming and splashing can result in a lot of water being spilled over the edge.
- Check the weather forecast before topping up your pool. If rain is forecast, let nature top it up for you!
Water leaks that occur from water pipes and fittings on the property side of the water meter are the responsibility of the property owner. This includes leaks occuring in water fittings or applicances such as toilets, taps, hot water systems, pools, irrigation and tanks.
The best way to check for leaks is to reguallry read your meter to detect any abnormal consumption between readings.
To report a leak on public land, contact Council on 1300 763 903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be farmilar with the location of pipes and main on your property and do not plan large trees over these. Root growth can damage pipes.
- Inspect pools regularly for crakcs and sigs of leaks.
- Maintain any automatic water systems by checking regularly for leaks.
- Turn taps off gently.
Sewerage and Septic Management
Efficient water use improves the operation of your septic system and reduces its risks of failure. All of the water you send down your pipes ends up in your septic system or Council's sewerage system. The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professions. To ensure you care for you septic system and Council's sewerage system, follow the tips below.
- Never pour cooking oil or greas down the drain.
- Never pour oil-base paints, solvents, or large volumes of toxic clearners down the drain.
- Eliminate or limit the use of a garbage disposal. This will significantly reduce the amount of fats, great and solids that enter your spetic tank.
- Flushing other items down the toilet can casuse a sewer blocage and damage to the sewerage infrastructure.
- Council issues a permit to discharge trade waste to the sewer, to ensure it can control the amount and type of trade waste being discharge into the sewerage system.
- Contact Council for a trade waste discharge permit application or visit www.cassowarycoast.qld.gov.au/trade-waste.