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City West Water

Water efficient gardens

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 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 greywater 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 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.

Rainwater tanks

Adding a rainwater tank to your home is a great investment in your water management and can help you reduce water and save on your water bill.

Installing a rainwater tank

To ensure that you receive all the benefits a rainwater tank can offer get it installed by a registered plumber.

Watch out for contaminants

Rainwater tanks are a great investment for any household, however there are a variety of contaminants that 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 your tank and limit future expense.

Have you inherited a rainwater tank?

If you haven’t owned a rainwater 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 it.

Your inspection should include:

  • looking for holes in the tank or on the roof surface of the tank
  • checking the water is clear and odourless
  • ensuring leaf litter guards are securely fitted
  • ensuring roofing and guttering material where rainwater is captured is safe and non toxic
  • ensuring there are no overhanging tree branches
  • ensuring there are no contaminants (see above) that may pollute your water supply
  • ensuring pipe diameters that connect your rainwater supply to pumps and outlets 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. Consider carrying out a maintenance inspection prior to an upcoming rainy season.

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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