With the start of a new financial year we have the inevitable price rises, the cost of water being one of them. Whilst it isn’t a large rise it still impacts the family budget, so now is a good time to review the top ten tips for saving water at home.
Identify and fix water leaks
Dripping taps or toilet cisterns not shutting off after flushing are the most obvious cause of water wastage and should be repaired promptly to minimise waste.
A less obvious problem is a concealed leak either underground or behind a wall. These types of leaks are often not identified until after your water rates arrive which can result in a nasty shock. Here at Whywait Plumbing we recommend monitoring your water use so any increase is picked up quickly and can be investigated further. This is especially important if you have had a previous leak as most local authorities will only allow you to claim relief on your water rates once every three years.
Water saving showers and taps
If you have an older home your fixtures and fittings are likely to use more water than product available today, so when the time comes to replace them compare products for water efficiency.
WELS water efficiency ratings indicate how much water they use – the more stars on the label the less water the product uses, a great way to reduce your in-home water usage.
Another option is to install aerators or flow controllers to existing tapware.
Consider water-efficient appliances
WELS ratings also apply to appliances so compare ratings when shopping for dishwashers and washing machines. All new washing machines must comply with a minimum water efficiency standard, and some dishwasher models on the market today can use as little as half the water of older models and you no longer need to rinse your dishes, in fact with the sensors in today’s machines you get a better wash if the dishes are dirty.
Only run full washing machine loads
Avoid using your washing machine or dishwasher when it’s half full. Only running these appliances when you have a full load not only saves on water but also is more energy efficient. If you must wash before you have a full- load then ensure you adjust the water level settings.
Water efficient toilets
All new toilets come with a half flush water saving option. If your property is not fitted with dual flush toilet cisterns then we would recommend having these installed as they can save thousands of litres of water per year.
Minimise running water
Always turn the tap off when cleaning your teeth and use the plug when shaving and washing vegetables rather than under running water.
Reduce your time in the shower
Encourage the whole family to take shorter showers and turn the shower off when shampooing your hair. A timer is a good way to keep everyone on track.
Catch the cold water
When showering when you first turn the taps on collect the cold water and use it to water plants or even flush the toilet. Just tip it down the pan instead of flushing.
Install a water tank
Collecting and reusing rainwater for watering lawns and gardens is an effective way to reduce water bills.
Get the family involved
Discuss your water saving tips with the family and remember it’s never to soon to teach young children water saving habits. If you teach them when they are young you may avoid the long showers once they become teenagers.
Waterless urinals increase water sustainability
Falcon waterless urinals at The Oasis Shopping Centre installed by Whywait Plumbing in 1998
In 1998 Whywait Plumbing installed the first waterless urinals on the Gold Coast at The Oasis Shopping Centre. At that time the owners of The Oasis Shopping Centre, Thakral Holdings had as Engineering Director, Tony Harvey. Tony Harvey was ahead of his time focusing on setting sustainability targets for all Thakral properties in both electricity and water.
These first waterless urinals were fibreglass Falcon urinals with disposable cartridges. To say they were not successful was an understatement. We were continually servicing the Falcon urinals as they suffered from frequent blockages due to their cartridge design. The cost to replace cartridges constantly far outweighed the water-saving benefits at that time.
Servicing these Falcon waterless urinals became a detested task by Whywait’s plumbing technicians as invariably removing the cartridge resulted in getting covered in urine that was in the cartridge. To all of our plumber’s relief we ripped them out and replaced them with ZeroFlush waterless urinals in 2004.
Water flushing urinals stink
Traditional water flushing urinals are a significant waster of potable water in most commercial buildings. Most men are aware of that distinctive odour of male public toilets. Contrary to popular believe that odour is not usually from the urinals. It is, in fact, an odour created by the mixing of water vapour and urine creating bacteria that thrive in the wet environment of the grout in the tiled floors and walls.
In fact the installation of Australian WaterMark approved waterless urinals such as ZeroFlush creates a dry environment that does not allow bacteria to grow in the tile grout and create that distinctive odour. A properly maintained and serviced waterless urinal will give trouble free service, eliminate expensive and ever increasing water costs plus reduce carbon emissions.
Do waterless urinals stink?
Whywait Plumbing technicians have investigated numerous instances of waterless urinals being blamed for blocked drains or odours. In reality this is consistently not the case as investigation always reveals the real causes such as dry floor wastes, incorrect installation or incorrect servicing.
The most common cause is inappropriate or non-existant servicing procedures. Far too many plumbers fail to upskill themselves with current sustainability skills, methods or requirements. Often these same plumbers fail to read simple instructions on servicing methods and requirements and instead advocate the removal of the waterless urinals. It is normally simple to identify the poor servicing as the plumbers maintaining the urinals fail to purchase servicing materials and then blame the waterless urinals for poor performance.
Whywait Plumbing is aware of buildings where government subsidies have been paid to the owners to install waterless urinals and ignorant building managers have allowed plumbing companies to remove the urinals and replace them with expensive water guzzling urinals. The plumbers who undertake these activities are in our opinion conducting a fraud and their motives are transparent.
This approach is to the detriment of their clients and the community as a whole whom have embraced sustainability to make efficient use of expensive water and protect our environment.
If you want assistance with your urinals contact Whywait Plumbing on (07) 5580 4311 to organise a site audit.