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City West Water

Water efficient gardens

We’ll help you reduce your water bill and create the green space of your dreams.

There are many myths about watering most of which are just that – myths.

Once established, the right plants in good soils generally don’t need additional water. By watering less frequently but to a greater depth, you will encourage deep rooted plants which will be much more equipped to withstand hot dry days. Remember to always water within the current water restrictions.

Tips for wise watering

  • To see if your plants need water test the soil with your finger. It should be moist but not soggy. Always test your plants and see if they need water before turning on the tap.
  • By grouping plants that require similar watering requirements you will become more efficient in your water use.
  • Consider an irrigation system which will water plants more efficiently at the roots. This will also help to reduce weeds and fungal disease.

Get the right rainwater take for your needs

Considering installing a rain water tank? Use the Tankulator, a free online tool to calculate the take size to suit your needs.

Using Grey water in your garden

Don’t let all your greywater go down the drain. Greywater is typically water from baths, showers, hand basins and washing machines. Used properly, greywater can potentially save thousands of litres of drinking water every year.

Greywater dos:

- Choose the right detergents.
- Use only the amount of greywater needed to meet plant requirements.
- Stop using greywater if you smell odours and your plants do not appear to be healthy.
- Wash your hands after watering with greywater.

Before using greywater, check the current Victoria guidelines at the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) website.

Greywater don’ts:

- Don’t use greywater on vegetable gardens if the crop is to be eaten raw.
- Don’t store untreated greywater for more than 24 hours.
- Don’t drink greywater or allow children to drink or play with it.
- Don’t use wastewater from the kitchen (including the dishwasher) on the garden.

Rain water tanks

Adding a rain water tank to your home in a great investment in your water management and can have the added benefit of helping you reduce water usage and your water bill.

Installing a tank

To ensure that you receive all of the benefits of your tank, it should be installed by a registered plumber.

Watch out for contaminants

Rain water tanks are a great investment for any household, however there are a variety of contaminants can find their way into your rainwater tank. These can cause bacteria, odour or discolouration of the water and can include:

  • Dust
  • Animal or bird droppings
  • Dead animals
  • Vegetation debris
  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Pollutants
  • Insects

Keep a lookout for things that could create a problem for your tank. Being vigilant will ensure good water quality, extend the life of the tank and limit added expense in the future.

Have you inherited a rain water tank?

If you haven’t owned a tank before, spend some time undertaking a thorough inspection and don’t hesitate to ask friends or professionals for assistance on how to care for and get the best out of your rainwater tank.

Your inspection should include:

  • the existence of holes in the tank or on the roof surface of the tank.
  • That the water is clear and contains no odour.
  • Leaf litter guards are securely fitted.
  • Roofing and guttering material where rainwater is captured are safe and non toxic.
  • Trees do not have overhanging branches.
  • The existence of contaminants (see above) which may pollute your water supply.
  • Pipe diameters which connect your rainwater supply to pumps and outlets should match the pump pressure capacity. This may require inspection by a plumber.

Tank maintenance

Keeping on top of tank maintenance will reduce long term costs and the time needed to undertake major tasks. Consider carrying out a maintenance inspection prior to an upcoming rainy season and use the following table to schedule important safe preservation tasks for your tank.

Remember your safety always comes first – dispose of the first flush of rainwater if experiencing any issue and always ensure you ask a friend of family member to stand outside of your tank if you are cleaning inside the tank.

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