Water Saving Tips

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 #savewater.

Here are some usefill 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.
  • Consider buying alternative solutions

 

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.