Tips to improve water consumption

Inside the house

  • Turn the tap off while you clean your teeth, shave, or soap up before
    washing your hands. This can save up to 9 litres a minute.
  • Take 4 minute showers. Cutting your shower time from 7 to 4 minutes will save up to 36 litres of water.
  • When rinsing dishes or washing fruit, part-fill the sink instead of running the water. A kitchen tap uses about 9 litres a minute.
  • Select water-efficient appliances when replacing any that use water. For example, if you need a new washing machine, think about buying one with 4-star WELS Scheme rating or better.
  • Only wash clothes when you have a full load.

Outside the house

  • Sweep paved areas, driveways and paths with a broom.
  • Consider native trees and shrubs, as they need less water. They also use less fertiliser and pesticides, and attract birds and other wildlife to your garden. Talk to your local nursery for advice on buying plants native to your area.
  • Do deep watering once a week, according to your council’s regulations, to encourage plant roots to grow deeper. The plants will seek water from below rather than close to the surface, reducing watering requirements.
  • Mulch garden beds to reduce water loss (which can be up to 70%) through evaporation. Mulch stores water for plants to use and helps to stop weeds from growing.
  • Set your lawn mower’s cutting height to 3 centimetres or higher to avoid cutting your lawn too short. This will reduce the amount of water your grass will need.

Check your home for leaking water

It’s important to check plumbing fixtures for drips or leaks. If you need help checking your home for water leaks, contact your nearest Housing Service Centre.

A dripping tap can waste more than 200 litres of water per day. If you’re waiting for repairs, use buckets to catch drips and use the water on your plants.

If your household uses more than a reasonable amount of water you may be charged for the cost.

You should check your:

  • bathroom: dripping taps (bathroom sink, bath, shower) running toilets, or leaking pipes
  • laundry: dripping taps (washing machine, laundry sink), leaking pipes or loose hose connections
  • kitchen: dripping taps (kitchen sink), leaking pipes and dishwasher connections
  • outside: dripping garden taps, hose fittings and leaking pipes.

Report any dripping taps, running cisterns, leaking pipes or faulty water connections to your nearest Housing Service Centre’s maintenance number.

Test your property for leaking pipes

You can test your property for leaking pipes by monitoring your water meter. Follow these steps:

  1. Wear gloves when checking your water meter to prevent injury—meter covers and boxes can be a haven for spiders and snakes.
  2. Don’t allow unsupervised children to touch water meter covers or boxes.
  3. Make sure you’ve checked all the water fixtures in your home for leaks or faulty connections.
  4. Take a water meter reading by writing down the black and red digits from left to right (black digits are kilolitres used).
  5. Don’t use any water on the premises (including flushing the toilet) for at least 1 hour and then take another reading.
  6. If the meter reading has changed, there may be a leak in an underground pipe. Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre as soon as possible.

If repairs are needed because of damage you caused to the property, you have to pay for the cost of repair. Read more about who pays for property damage.