Tips to cut wa­ter waste this sum­mer and save

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

Re­cent cut-offs and re­stric­tions have brought home to many con­sumers just what a scarce - and costly - re­source wa­ter is be­com­ing in South Africa, says Berry Everitt, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Chas Everitt In­ter­na­tional prop­erty group.

And the short­ages are es­pe­cially ev­i­dent in sum­mer, he says, so home­own­ers should be do­ing ev­ery­thing they can right now to cut usage and keep their bills down.

Here are six sug­ges­tions to cut down on wa­ter wastage:

Wa­ter early and late

Set sprin­kler sys­tems to wa­ter your lawn and gar­den beds in the pre-dawn or post-sun­set hours. With­out the sun com­pet­ing for your wa­ter, you'll have more wa­ter go­ing into the soil than evap­o­rat­ing and you will be able to wa­ter less fre­quently.

Don't wa­ter the drive­way or pa­tio

Check your sprin­klers reg­u­larly to en­sure that they are work­ing prop­erly and spray­ing wa­ter where you want it. Di­rec­tional sprin­kler heads will en­sure that your money spent on wa­ter­ing is only spent on things that grow.

In­stall rain sen­sors

Avail­able from good hard­ware shops and ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment sup­pli­ers, these sen­sors will over­ride a sprin­kler sys­tem's set­tings so you don't dou­ble up on Mother Na­ture.

Save the rain

Putting wa­ter bar­rels or rain tanks un­der your down­pipes to col­lect runoff from your roof is one of the best ways to keep out­door wa­ter usage down. You can use the wa­ter to fill wa­ter­ing cans or buck­ets and wa­ter wher­ever your sprin­kler sys­tem doesn't reach. If you in­stall the tanks on plat­forms you may also be able to gen­er­ate enough pres­sure to run a hose.

Don't pres­sure wash any­thing

Use a rake, broom or leaf vac­uum to clean up your lawn or drive­way, and a bucket and sponge to wash your car.

Check for leaks

At­tend to any drip­ping taps im­me­di­ately and check reg­u­larly for un­seen leaks by turn­ing off all your taps in­doors and out (in­clud­ing the wa­ter sup­ply to the toi­let) and look­ing to see if your wa­ter meter is still run­ning. If it is, call an ex­pert to find and fix the prob­lem as soon as pos­si­ble, be­cause even a small leak could cost you hun­dreds of rand a year. A drip­ping tap can waste more than a litre of wa­ter per hour.

Is­sued by Chas Everitt In­ter­na­tional

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