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What you can do

Living Sustainably



Install water saving tools and strategies
Water saving devices

There are simple things you can do around the home to reduce water waste through the use of water saving devices and fittings.  Investigate the installation and use of water efficient showerheads, taps, flow-regulators, dual-flush toilets, timers, household appliances and other devices.

There is a range of products available, do some research and ask your retailer or plumber for advice and information on options and how they compare.  Use the Water Efficiency Labelling scheme (WELS) and the National Water Conservation Rating and Labelling Scheme "AAA" to guide you on product selection and efficiency ratings.

Look for water saving strategies and features, such as flow controls, timers, sensors, economy mode and efficient water use.  Services and appliances with a range of settings typically enable you to control the water flow and volume settings to suit the task.

More than 280,000 households in NSW (18% of all households) have converted to water efficient products as part of the $22 Residential Retrofit Program – saving 5.9 billion litres each year.

The NSW Government also provides a free Do-it-yourself (DIY) Water Saving Kit to every household in Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. Rebates are also available for households purchasing new water efficient washing machines (4-star water rating or 5A rated). The offer ends 31 July, 2008.

Reducing water waste

One leaking tap can waste more than 2,000 litres a month. Reduce water waste by regularly checking and fixing leaks in taps, toilet cisterns, pipes and appliance hoses is an easy way to reduce water use.

Check and monitor the water pressure and keep the temperature of your hot water systems at a reasonable level.  Excessive pressure and temperature leads to waste.

Enviro/green plumbers can test for water leaks and give you advice about water saving devices for inside and outside your home. For more information visit Green Plumbers or EnviroPlumber websites.

If you spot a water leak within a residential or commercial block contact the owner or property manager. For mains water leaks or emergency repairs call Sydney Water's 24-hour emergency line on 132 090.

Rainwater tanks and grey water systems

Rainwater tanks and grey water systems are a great way to capture and collect water that would otherwise be lost or end up as stormwater. They also help reduce demand on the fresh water supply.

Rainwater tanks can collect water for reuse in gardens, toilet flushing, washing and hot water.

Various tank sizes, configurations and features are available. Discuss your needs with an Enviro/green plumber. Visit Green Plumbers or EnviroPlumber websites for more information.

Rebate and incentive schemes are also available. Sydney Water has a Rainwater Tank Rebate Program – call Sydney Water on 13 20 92 or visit the Sydney Water website.

In addition to capturing and redirecting water run-off from your roof, you could also collect water from other sources such as ground water or household grey water. About 60% of your household's wastewater is grey water.  Grey water is the waste water from showers, baths, hand basins, laundry tubs, washing machines, dishwashers and kitchen sinks. It does not include water from toilets which has major health implications.


Sydney Water currently recycles 30 million litres of wastewater per day. That's equivalent to the water in 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools. By 2010, that figure is expected to increase to 83 million litres per day.



Diversion devices for capturing and treating grey water from your household for reuse in the garden can save you around 400 litres of fresh water each day. Some treatment systems allow grey water to be diverted for reuse in washing machines and toilets, in addition to outdoor irrigation.  A plumber can advise you on options and design a grey water system to suit your needs.



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