About 40 per cent of all water used in the home is in the bathroom and much of this is wasted including a quarter of water flushed down the toilet.
- Buy a top-rated dual flush toilet. Look for models with a 4-star water efficiency rating. These can save the average home up to 35,000 litres per year. These toilets use just 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush.
- Older toilets use around 18 litres per flush. If you can’t afford a new toilet, put a water-filled plastic bottle in your cistern to reduce the volume used with each flush. Don’t use bricks as they can crumble and stop the system working properly.
- If you are building a new home or doing a bathroom renovation consider installing plumbing to flush your toilets using rainwater or greywater.
- Don’t use your toilet as a bin. Feminine hygiene products, food waste, baby wipes and goldfish should go in the bin. Flushing these down the toilet not only wastes valuable water but places additional strain on the sewerage system.
- Take part in our Toilet Replacement Program – one quick phone call and we’ll handle the delivery and installation.
- A continuously running toilet can waste up to 60,000-96,000 litres of water per year, yet toilet leaks often go unnoticed as the water trickles down the back of the bowl.
- Follow these simple steps to check if your toilet has a leak:
- remove the lid of your toilet cistern
- place a few drops of food dye into the cistern
- do not flush your toilet for 10-15 minutes
- if the dye has seeped down into the bowl when you return, then you know you have a leak.
- Toilet leaks are often a result of the rubber valve in the cistern deteriorating. You can contact a licensed plumber to fix this for you. It is important to check your toilet for leaks every few months so you can be sure it is not wasting any water.
- Fit flow-controlled aerators to your taps – they are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%.
- If you have a leaking tap, replace the washer or other components as required. Dripping taps can waste 30-200 litres of water per day.
- A running tap uses about 16 litres of water per minute and a dripping tap can waste up to 12,000 litres a year.
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Wet your brush and use a glass for rinsing.
- Don’t rinse your razor under a running tap. Filling the basin with a little warm water is just as effective and less wasteful.
- Don’t over-tighten taps. It can wear the washer and cause leaks.
- Ensure all new taps are water efficient by checking the WELS star rating.
- Install mixer taps in showers as they can reduce the potential for scalding and save large quantities of water wasted through running the shower while trying to get a comfortable water temperature.
- In basins and sinks, install separate hot and cold taps as mixer type taps are usually left in the middle position. This means that each time the tap is run for a glass of cold water or to rinse a toothbrush, hot water is drawn off and left to cool in the pipe without ever being used.
- Catch running water whilst waiting for your water to warm up – use it to water plants, rinse dishes, or wash fruit and vegetables.
- Before purchasing a new bathroom appliance, check the appliance for a WELS (National Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme) label. The WELS scheme labels products for water efficiency – the more stars, the more water efficient the product.
- The shower is one of the easiest and most cost effective places to decrease water use.
- Shorter showers lower water use, decrease wastewater and produce fewer CO2 emissions.
- An inefficient showerhead can use between 15-20 litres of water every minute.
- An efficient WELS 3 star rated showerhead gives a high quality shower and uses as little as 5 litres every minute.
- If you shower for six minutes, a water efficient showerhead can save up to 50 litres of water for each shower or up to 20,000 litres of water per person per year.
- Use a shower timer – choose from a manual 4-minute egg timer or a more sophisticated electronic timer that either attaches to the shower wall or showerhead, or is wired into the wall during construction.
- Use a bucket to collect water while waiting for the shower to get hot.
- Shave your legs before taking a shower. Use running shower water to rinse off.
- Swap your old showerhead for a water efficient one for free as part of our Showerhead exchange program page.
- Many people believe that baths waste a lot of water. However, often a bath may use less water than a shower.
- Only fill the tub with as much water as needed.
- Check the temperature as you fill – adding extra water to get the correct temperature after the bath is at the right level is wasteful.
- Regularly check your plug for leaks and replace as necessary.
- Use a bucket to put bath water onto the garden or use it to wash your car –check though that soaps and detergents in the water won’t harm garden plants.
Hot water system and pipes
- Consider an instantaneous water heater if your existing water heater is located some distance to the bathroom. Talk to a plumber first to make sure it will work adequately with your showerhead.
- Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to reduce the temperature of very hot water is wasteful
- Insulate hot water pipes as it saves water and energy.
- New hot water systems allow you to specify the temperature without adding cold water.
- Install a plumbing device that allows the cold water to be recirculated until it warms up.
Visit our help with water leaks page to find out more.
Rebates for water efficient products
Depending on where you live, you are likely to be eligible for rebates, subsidies or free offers on some water efficient/water saving products. Check with your council and water utility or visit energy.gov.au