On hot days we all use millions of liters of water. To water the plants, fill the bath or take a shower. It costs water purification companies a lot of energy to purify water. To combat water shortages and limit energy consumption, it is good to use water economically. We give you 10 tips to save water in and around the house.
1. Waste less water when you flush the toilet
Every time you flush the toilet, more than 9 litres of water disappear down the drain. That is much more water than necessary.
Here is a solution: Place rocks or sand in the bottom of a large bottle and then fill it with water. Place the bottle in the water bowl of your toilet, without interfering with the flushing mechanism.
Thanks to this arrangement, you can save almost one and a half litres of water with every flush without your toilet working less well! If your water bowl is quite large, you can even fit two bottles in.
2. Every drop costs money!
Check for leaks regularly. Leaks are not always visible but can have dramatic consequences for your water consumption. With a leaking tap, up to 100 litres of water are lost per day. With a leaking toilet flush, this can be up to 600 litres per day!
An easy way to check for leaks in your home is to keep an eye on your water meter. Learning to read that meter correctly can save you money. Start by shutting off all water in your home. Then go to your water meter and write down all the numbers you see. If you have a flow meter, it will indicate if there is a leak anywhere in your home. To determine the presence of a slow water leak, note the reading of your water meter before and after a period of no water consumption.
3. Reuse rainwater
Why not collect rainwater that would otherwise disappear into nature? It’s free and renewable! By collecting water that flows from your gutters in a tank, you can already save litres of water. You can use that rainwater to water your plants and wash the car.
You can also go further and install a real rainwater harvesting system that will then serve your toilet, washing machine and other machines that don’t require potable water.
4. Invest in a rain well
After all, rainwater can account for almost 60% of the consumption in your home. There are cisterns in concrete or plastic. Minimum volume: 1500 litre. Maximum authorized volume: 10,000 litres (even if there are models up to 20,000 litres). Concrete cisterns must be buried. This is not mandatory for cisterns in synthetic materials. However, they are all equipped with a pump system and a filter. You’ve already figured it out: a cistern can require major works – more specifically excavation work. Just to be sure, have the system checked before putting it into operation. Under certain conditions, this is even mandatory in Flanders, Belgium. For example, any contact between the water supply network and the rainwater network is prohibited to avoid contamination of the public network.
Depending on the model chosen and the work to be carried out, the costs can vary between 1500 € and 6000 €. An investment that will pay for itself in 7 to 10 years if you use rainwater to clean, flush the toilets and do laundry, provided that the surface of your roof is at least 150 m2.
There are, however, grants – usually municipal – for systems that recover rainwater (cisterns or reservoirs), but not everywhere. Please check with your municipality.
Do you think the investment is too big? Then know that there are also cheaper above-ground barrels. Or start by placing a barrel at the bottom of the gutter. You can use the collected water to clean the terrace or sidewalk or to water the plants.
5. Do not rinse the dishes anymore!
Rinsing your plates before putting them in the dishwasher doubles your water consumption. Don’t rinse your plates before putting them in the dishwasher. If you rinse them clean, you double your water consumption for washing the dishes (and a dishwasher uses very little water after all). And there are other misconceptions about water consumption. Also, prefer the ECO mode instead of the quick program. Although the ECO mode lasts longer, it washes the dishes better and uses less energy. Contrary to what certain myths about energy consumption claim.
6. Avoid water games where you are constantly spreading water.
Fun is guaranteed with a water sprayer or water slide, but they are not very economical with water …
If you still want to be able to play in the water, inflate a small pool and fill it once. Also, ask your children not to do a bombshell (too often) or not to step in and out of the pool with their feet full of sand and grass. This way you avoid having to refill the pool often or replace the water. For the game where you have water in a bottle and stand in a circle with a group and have to shoot each other’s bottle with a ball, you can also use rainwater very well.
Another tip for using less water if you have a swimming pool? Cover it when not in use to prevent evaporation.
7. The right pot
Finally: a small saving with a big impact. Many people throw vegetables in a pan that is way too big. As a result, approximately one litre of extra water is used per pan, which is discarded after cooking. Assuming two pans that are too large per cooking cycle, this results in a saving of more than 450 litres per year.
You can make huge savings on your water use in all sorts of small, unexpected ways. You can find many more tips on various websites, such as Zoofy. Not only will you see the savings reflected in the bill you receive each quarter, but it’s also very good for the environment. Pay attention to the little things, then you can do the environment a big favour without major changes in your lifestyle.
8. Reuse water
By cleaning your vegetables in a tub you save water and you can reuse it for other things.
For example, to clean your vegetables. Wash them in a tub and use the water afterwards to water your plants.
Another tip: while you wait for hot water to run out of the tap (in the kitchen and even before you take a shower), you can catch the cold water that flows out first. For your water jug, your plants or any other use.
9. Washing your car
When you wash your car with the garden hose, you use about 150 litres of water. You can also use some buckets instead. You will notice that you can clean your car very well with less than half that amount. This might be a strange tip, but although it doesn’t seem like it, the car wash is also a water-saving option. In a car wash, the used water is cleaned and reused.
10. Water-saving showerhead
An energy-saving shower provides the same comfort, is better for the climate and saves you a lot of money. You can save a lot of energy with a water-saving showerhead. To see if you can save by changing your showerhead, you should first check how economical your showerhead is now. You can do this by checking how much water you currently use. Maybe your shower is already very economical. To do this, place a bucket under your shower head and let the water run for 1 minute. Are there 7 litres of water in the bucket or more after that? Then it can be more economical.