Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Being "Water Wise"

We use to live in Devon and the water company SWW are one of the most expensive suppliers, the water bills were crazy. It wasn't until a few years ago after a few scary bills we decided we should take action.

We can all reduce our bills by making small changes and choosing more water efficient products.

Our money is better off in our pockets than being washed down the drain.

How we save water will not be to everyone's taste and might seem a bit drastic to some, being extravagant is not going to help us save money, needs must, we are on a mission.

Saving water in the bathroom...

Don't leave the tap running when cleaning your teeth.

The water takes a long time to warm up here, so instead of just running it down the drain until it gets warm we use a jug and bucket to save it all , it then gets used for flushing.

Water even gets scooped out of the sink to be reused for the loo.
Toilets use about 30% of the total used in a household, so it is worth doing.

Most toilets have a dual flush option now, so you can choose a long or shorter flush.
The water companies actually give away freebies to help you save, so I recommend checking that out.

The shower uses the water and the gas/boiler , "Power Showers" can easily use more water than a bath.

So take a look at the shower head.

Aerated shower heads reduce the amount of water in the flow, but maintain the pressure, and just like a normal shower head , they will produce a steady and even spray.

Low flow shower heads will reduce the amount of water that is used and still give you the full feel of a normal shower.

So just by changing the head you can save money and still have a nice shower.

Also the time you take in the shower is also a big factor, I am as quick as I can be, sometimes it takes a little longer when I condition my hair , do a face wash, or shave my legs for example. 

If you wet yourself down, then turn off the shower whilst you wash your hair, and lather up it takes no time at all.

I do have a few odd baths now and then in the winter, but the water is always kept for flushing.


In the kitchen...

I don't wash dishes , we have a smaller size dishwasher. A common misconception is that dish washers use more water, in fact these machines can be good water savers , modern models use very little water, even less than washing up by hand. But then I suppose the other argument could be it uses electric. 

I use the eco cycle which washes at 30 degrees, and it is all done and dried within 20 mins. Nothing to do with saving water but I also use the cheap tablets from Home Bargains, £1.69 they are 7 in 1 so do everything, I have even started using half a tablet unless it is an exceptionally dirty/greasy lot of dishes.
It only runs when it is completely full and I never pre rinse, just make sure everything is scraped off.

The Washing Machine....

Well this use to be put on everyday, but now only around three times a week, I use a combination of cycles. Towels, flannels, bedding , underwear get washed on a longer hotter cycle, whilst everyday clothes will get washed on the shorter cycle, which saves on water and electric.

Any cleaning cloths or clothes which have been soaking in a bucket, the water will get reused, also soaking any stained items means you don't have to run the machine on a long cycle.

The kettle only gets filled with the amount of water needed which saves on electric.
Water from steaming the veg gets used for making the gravy.
Water from boiling the eggs will get used for houseplants.

In the garden..

We have four water butts on the corners of the shed, this takes care of all the garden, patio cleaning and car washing.

As with our gas and electric we think about every drop we use.

Our bills are very low.


  1. Great advice! It is also worth anyone checking with their supplier, in the event of certain life debilitating illness that may require more laundry to be done, upon receipt of a doctor's confirmation letter, they will offer a further reduction on your bill.

    1. Great tip thankyou Deborah, hopefully someone reading this will benefit.

  2. A lot of good advice Marlene. We are not on a water meter here but I am still very careful about the amount we use. X

    1. Yes it helps the environment as well x

  3. Very sensible and sound advice.

  4. Sadly we are not on a water meter, but great advice.

  5. We're not on a water meter either - ours is quite cheap - £398 for the year. We don't waste water though - we still use water butts in the garden. Some good tips there.

  6. Great advice Marlene, a little saving often really mounts up.

  7. Do you use water butts to save water off the house, you only mentioned the shed? Lots of good advice that you have given.

  8. Hi Janice no the four are enough as there is always plenty of rain here in England.

  9. All good advice, Marlene. There is an old saying regarding flushing the loo (not that I agree with it, mind! But when push comes to shove ... no pun intended ... this could be a useful way of saving water and therefore money): If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down!
    We don't have a dual flush on our loos, but we obtained a new assembly for the flushing valve from South West Water and if you hold the loo handle down longer, it gives a short flush. We have one for the upstairs loo, too, but haven't yet installed this (and that loo is rarely used.) We shower (I've not had a bath in more than 12 years, I wouldn't be able to get out with my arthritic hips and I don't want to install one of those old people's baths for invalids) but we are careful with water and when I use the washing machine I tend to use a Fast Wash on a 30 degree setting unless it's towels and pants that needs a higher temp to kill bacteria. I also use a dishwasher but make sure that I use a full load, and it's good for washing the grids on the gas hob and I put the dishcloth and scouring pad I the dishwasher, too, to help keep those really clean. I shower twice a day, husband once a day - my shower before bedtime is to warm my aching limbs and it helps me sleep - but we're both quick in the shower. And we don't allow water to trickle down the basin when we're cleaning our teeth. Unfortunately there is no convenient space for water butts, but we're living in Devon and there is sufficient water falling to keep the garden watered, except in the very height of summer.
    Margaret P

  10. Good on you Margaret, you are doing a fantastic job, I'd never thought of running the dish cloths through the dishwasher, but I will be doing it from now on.

  11. That is really good advise .I just wish water companies were as careful. I phoned our water company last year to say water was running along the pavement and it took them three weeks to come. Then they had to dig the road up for days. Goodness knows how much water was lost. Jane xx

    1. Yes I know what you mean, they don't set a very good example do they.xx

  12. I live in Cornwall and can testify to the expensive water costs. However, I am mean with my water usage, using water butts for the garden and following quite a few of your tips in the house. I am quite chuff with my water bills as my monthly standing order is £21. BUT I suspect it will be increased soon as I have one of my daughters-in-law staying with me and she takes l o n g showers and uses the washing machine more than me. I do use it! But restrict the washes to all-whites on hot wash and coloureds on short, cooler wash. She also likes to tumble dry everything whereas I hang washing out first to make any tumble drying shorter.

    1. £21 is low, well done you.
      The younger generation will probably take more notice when they have to pay the bills.

  13. Having lived in Spain for several years, the first four with no water on site we know how to conserve water, you learn very quickly when you have to bring water to your house in 1000lt barrels. Now we are in Ireland but we are not connected to mains water, we have storage straight from our roof, we can store around 7000 lts, which is plenty even in drought conditions, yes we do get droughts here.


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