Why save water?
It’s easy to take water for granted.
All day, every day, we turn on the taps to brush our teeth, wash our hands, rinse food and clean dishes.
Then there’s loads of washing, dishwashers and putting the kettle on for a brew.
We shower, bath and flush, rarely stopping to think how many litres of water we consume (Scottish Water estimates domestic consumption of water to be as high as 203 litres of water per person per day). Did you know that 6% of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from water use?
Saving water will also help reduce bills if you’re on a mains system. And water is still worth saving if you use a private water supply. Springs and burns which feed private supplies are prone to drying up during hot spells. Saving water will not only help your home’s energy efficiency but also safeguard a precious, natural resource.
Avoid wasting delicious, fresh, wholesome drinking water with our water saving tips!
Ways For Households To Save Water
1. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
You could save 5 litres per minute if you turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving.
2. Take shorter showers
How fast can you shower? Even cutting a couple of minutes off your daily shower can save litres of water. Baths generally use more water than showers, something to bear in mind.
3. Boil less water
When filling the kettle for a cuppa there’s no need to go overboard. Only fill the kettle with what you’ll use.
4. Fully load washing machines and dishwaters
Loading your dishwasher and washing machine half full wastes a tremendous amount of water and energy. Washing clothes at 30 degrees will also reduce energy waste.
5. Use a basin for washing dishes
This method is more eco-friendly than a dishwasher but remember to fill the basin rather than rinse plates and cutlery under the tap. Just ten minutes of continuous water flowing from the tap wastes 110 litres of water.
6. Fix leaks and drips
Say goodbye to up to 400 litres of water if your loo is leaking. Meanwhile, faulty taps can waste thousands of litres of water per year.
7. Switch to push taps
A push tap works by pressing a button to activate water flow. The flow then shuts off after a limited time to save water.
8. Switch to aerated shower heads
Aerated shower heads are specially designed to save up to 50% more water by blending water and air.
9. Flush bag
Flush bags are fitted into your toilet’s cistern and are a cheap, simple way to save water with every flush. You can buy a Save A Flush bag for just £2.95 instead of flushing money and energy down the toilet!
10. Maintain your private water supply
Corroded, old or leaking pipes are a health hazard as well as a water waster. You might be eligible for a Scottish Government grant to improve your private water supply if you use a private water supply. A local water hygiene company like pHX can also help you with a water maintenance plan.
For more water saving tips and information visit Your Water Your Life.
How to save water in your garden
With summer around the corner here are water saving tips that will keep your garden looking lovely and help protect a precious natural resource.
1. Install a water butt
Did you know that a small Scottish roof collects over 45,000 litres of water each year? Tap into this natural source of water by installing a water butt. Plants also prefer rainwater, so it’s a win-win situation.
2. Use a water can instead of a hose
Hoses waste water by creating water run-off.
3. Water your plants less
If stop watering your plants as frequently they’ll start growing deeper roots in an attempt to find moisture, which makes them more resilient. Good news of gardeners!
4. Always water your plants first thing on the morning or in the evening
This means that water doesn’t evaporate in the heat of the middays sun.
5. Instead of pouring your washing up water down the drain use it give your plants a good drink!
Only use this water-saving method on inedible varieties, though.
6. There’s no need to overwater your lawn
Again, less watering promotes deeper root growth. Don’t worry too much if your grass looks sad during a dry spell, it will bounce back after the first rainfall.
7. Use dead plant matter or ‘mulch’ as a source of moisture for your plants
Compost and dead, slimy leaves also work well! Simply pack the mulch around the base of the plants that need moisture.
8. Reuse plastic water bottles to make a mini water butt
Cut the bottom off a plastic milk carton and stick it in the soil upside down to collect rainwater.
9. Ditch water sprinklers
As mentioned above, you don’t need to water your lawn as often as you think. Besides, sprinklers waste a lot of water!
10. If you must use a hose, buy a water saving attachment
This adjustable attachment will help you save water by control the water flow.
11. Try a water wand
Water wands aren’t something from Harry Potter, just a magical, modern invention! Water wands helps you target the flow of water where you need it, and you can even set it to a fine mist for seedlings. The sensitive valve means you can shut off water immediately without wasting a drop.
12. Tree watering bags for saplings
These handy water-saving bags will saturate a baby tree for 5-9 hours. The slow watering technique helps to establish saplings for the first few seasons of their life and helps you save water.
13. Water plants with an olla
Ollas are clay pots that can be used to collect rainwater and slow-water plants. It’s a technique that arid parts of the world have used for thousands of years but works just as well in Scotland! You can even DIY one from a terracotta plant pot.
14. Downspout rain diverter
Divert all that rainwater we get so much of from your gutters into a tub with a steel downspout funnel.
15. Use a bucket and sponge to wash the car
As mentioned previously, hoses are one of the biggest wasters of water. If your serious about saving water, ditch the hose in favour of a bit of elbow grease.
Ways For Commercial Properties To Save Water
1. Check for leaks
Overflowing urinals, dripping taps and leaky toilets are key culprits.
2. Fit water saving devices
Tap flow regulators, flush bags, and aerated showers heads will save water, energy and money if you’re on the mains supply.
3. Reduce water pressure
High water pressure puts strain on pipes and in the long wrong can cause leaks and waste water.
4. Maintain private supplies
For businesses using a private water supply ensure that your supply is regularly maintained for maximum water efficiency. It’s also important to replace any lead pipes for the health and safety of your staff.
5. Educate your employees
Let employees know how much water they could save by reporting leaks and considering how their water consumption at work affects the environment.
6. Defrost naturally
If you run a catering business, consider letting food defrost naturally instead of using running water for an extended period.
7. Optimise washing machines and dishwashers
As with domestic households, washing machines and dishwashers can waste hundreds of litres of water every day. If possible wash on a colder setting and ensure washers aren’t switch on half-loaded.
8. Harvest rainwater
Install water butts to collect rainwater for office plants.
Save more water in 2022
Due to the rising cost of water prices in the UK, it is vital now more than ever to take adequate steps to save water in your domestic and commercial properties. We hope our tips have given you some ideas on how you can reduce your water costs and environmental footprint.