The City of Cape Town is currently implementing Level 2 Water restrictions. This is due in part to the low dam levels. It is everyone’s responsibility to save water.
Here are some useful tips on how you can save water:
Save water throughout your home
- Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day – that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.
- Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.
- Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.
Save water in your garden
- Water your garden before 09:00 or after 16:00 (or even later on hot summer days). Avoid watering during windy periods and only water your garden when necessary.
- Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns. Professional greywater recycling systems are also available for purchase.
- If you have an overflow pipe that drips into the garden, place a bucket beneath the drips and use the saved water to water pot plants.
- Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
- Use a mulching lawn mower that allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn.
- Don’t mow lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer.
- Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you wash your car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time. Or, to save even more water wash your vehicle using a bucket of water.
- Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you water your garden.
- Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered.
- Adjust your irrigation system for the season and switch it off during rainy weather – even if it is borehole or wellpoint water.
- Watering the garden less frequently, but deeper (for longer) encourages a deeper root system, which results in stronger plants. This practice can make water-wise plants out of most established plants.
Save water in your kitchen
- Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.
- Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.
- Rinse water can be reused for the next cycle of washing up before being discarded.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge so that you don’t run lukewarm water down the drain when waiting for it to cool.
- Run tap water into a bottle when waiting for it to heat up.
- Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, sunlight or microwave rather than placing them under running water.
Save water in your bathroom
- Close the tap when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 20 litres per month. Use a mug of water to rinse your toothbrush.
- Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water. This saves up to 45 litres per month.
- A half-filled bath uses about 113 litres, a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres. Shower rather than bath, if you have to bath make it a shallow one or share it.
- Reuse bath water in your garden.
- Install a new water-saving toilet or put a clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand in the toilet cistern. This could save you up to 7 300 litres each year.
- A toilet leak can waste up to 30 litres an hour – check if your toilet is leaking by adding a few drops of food dye to the cistern. If the colour seeps into the bowl, you have a leak, which should be fixed as soon as possible.
- Install a water-saving shower head, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force and turn off the shower when soaping or shaving.
Save water in industries, businesses and schools
- Automatic flushing urinals are the ultimate water wasters. If they cannot be replaced immediately, turn off the water after hours and over weekends – schools doing this have saved up to R5 000 on their annual water bill.
- Flush valves should flush for just two to four seconds and urinals for six to eight seconds.
- Regular maintenance of toilet fittings will save unnecessarily flushed water.
- Ensure your plumbing systems are regularly checked for leaks.
- Use a broom to sweep forecourts and other paved areas. Do not use a hose for this purpose.
- Potable water must not be used to dampen building sand or other building material to prevent it from being blown away.
Original Source: Cape Town Green Map