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Saving water at home (Part 2)

Making use of the improvements in technology and keeping your fixtures updated are great ways to save water

Last week we talked about how you can save water and money by updating your toilets, showers and washing machines thanks to the WELS Act which was implemented in 2005.

This week we'll look at a few other water (and money) saving tips involving the humble dishwasher, tap aerators and home rainwater tanks.

A lot of dishwasher manufacturers are now using their products' water saving capabilities as a marketing tool. It might be difficult to believe but many of the new water-efficient dishwashers actually use less water than doing the dishes by hand. These water-efficient models can save an average household around 8,000 litres of water per annum. That's a huge amount of water. Look for a dishwasher with six stars on the WELS rating, and only run your dishwasher when it's full to make the most of these savings.

Taps are also another area with the potential for huge savings. Even just a simple leaking tap can waste as much as a litre of water every hour. You can reduce normal water flow by using tap aerators or low flow taps. These are cheap to install and can reduce your water usage from 18 litres per minute to two litres per minute.

Over the past couple of years more and more people have been installing home rainwater tanks. Make use of the collected rainwater to water the garden during summer and connect it up to the house for your toilet flushing and laundry needs during winter.

Making use of the improvements in technology and keeping your fixtures updated are great ways to save water, and you can really make your water usage a lot more efficient. But it also comes down to how you think about water usage. It's amazing how much water we can save simply by being more conscious about water wastage. Simple things like running the tap at half flow when you're just washing your hands, taking shorter showers and pre-rinsing your dishes in a sink filled with water rather than rinsing them under the running tap.

TAFE has been quick to catch on with the need to educate plumbers on environmentally-friendly plumbing methods and has been a big part of increasing awareness in the plumbing industry. By including the teaching of green plumbing methods, TAFE has helped to ensure that plumbers in Australia are applying these skills on-the-job and educating customers on ways they can save both water and money.