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Water Use and Reuse


The cost of reticulated water will continue to increase with the demand from our expanding cities. There is a number of simple cost effective measures that can be taken to ensure your new house or as a simple retrofit to your existing house can reduce the rate of water consumption. A reduced rate of water consumption for your household will provide two principal benefits. The first is a direct financial benefit for the amount of metered water you pay for each year. The second is a more indirect benefit by the reduction in the need for increased supporting infrastructure such as dams. The construction of new water supply dams cost millions of tax dollars. Furthermore, they have the potential to displace ecological values for hundreds of hectares as a consequence of the response to increased water demand.

An average household will consume 70% - 80% of its water as a result of the bathroom and garden usage. Government authorities spend millions of dollars every year treating water to a standard suitable for drinking. The majority of this treated water is flushed down the toilet, disappears down another bathroom drain or is irrigated onto gardens.

Water Saving Appliances

The installation of water saving appliances provides an excellent way to reduce your household water consumption. The installation of a duel flush toilet provides a major advantage. The AAA rated dual flush systems use 3 liters for a half flush a full flush will cost you 6 liters, the older single flush models use 12 liters per flush. To complement your dual flush toilet you should also include a AAA rated showerhead this will provide you with a consumption rate of only 8.5 liters per minute compared with the 15 liters per minute of the standard shower head. When you think of this over even a short 5-minute shower that provides a 32.5-liter saving every shower. To top off your household equipment you can install tap flow regulators to reduce the flow rate of your taps. Don’t forget that regular maintenance of your appliances such as changing the washers on leaking taps.

Rain Water Tanks

The installation of a rain water tank will assist in significantly reducing the household consumption of potable water. Rainwater tanks should generally be between 5000 and 10 000 liters to provide maximum benefit to the household. The tank water can be used for garden irrigation and plumbed to the bathroom for toilet flushing. Furthermore, the tank can be plumber to hot water systems and used without any concern of contamination. Hot water systems set at the appropriate heating level will remove any water contaminates likely to cause adverse health consequences. Check with your local government authority to see if they provide a rebate for the installation of a rain water tank. Many government organizations are supporting the use of tanks to prolong or even prevent the expenditure of major water storage infrastructure.

Sustainable House Design

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