Easy ways to save water and money

We're lucky, our water is safe, clean and reliable! We can wake up in the morning, take a shower, brush our teeth, grab a coffee, and head out for the day.

Yet our water is a precious and finite resource. With the population in our region rising and our climate changing, it's up to all of us to follow the five simple Permanent Water Saving Rules designed to help us use water wisely.

There are plenty of other ways you can save water and money. Our Drip Saving Tips provide easy changes you can make around the house and in the garden ready for the warmer months.

Best of all, being more efficient with water will lower your water and energy bills too.

Save water outside

Outdoor water usage accounts for up to 50% of water use in the average home

Many people use more water in spring and summer when they're outside enjoying the warmer weather and tending to their gardens. With a little planning and these clever tips, you can save water and still have an attractive and productive garden .

  • Trigger nozzles are best

    Now the sun is out and the days are warmer, use a trigger nozzle or watering can and water only when the sun is low, before 10am is best. You’ll limit water wastage and reduce water loss through evaporation – and your plants will thank you.

  • Some plants can be watered too much

    Many plants are traditionally over-watered. And some, like lavender, can literally be watered to death.

    Before you water, push aside the mulch and stick your finger in the soil. If it’s moist below the surface you don’t need to water.

    If you do, aim for longer more infrequent watering – and allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again.

  • Adapt with a waterwise garden design

    Many plants are much tougher than you think and will go quite long periods without additional watering.

    Some plants are more drought tolerant and, even when it’s dry, don’t need additional watering once established.

    Use our Smart Gardens for a Dry Climate Guide and apply waterwise gardening principles and design in your garden.

  • Mulch is like a blanket for your garden

    Any mulch is better than no mulch! Mulch conserves water and reduces the need for irrigation by cutting evaporation from your soil by up to 70%. Better still, this ‘garden wonder’ inhibits weed growth and improves the structure and productivity of your soil over time.

  • Help your lawn withstand heat stress

    Most people overestimate how much water their lawn needs. Giving your lawn a proper drink less often encourages deeper root growth and means your grass will withstand heat stress for longer.

    Our tip! Put a 25mm deep tuna tin out when watering the lawn and stop when the tin is full. Then watch how long it takes for the water to evaporate – only then is it time to water again.

  • Let the run-off from your car wash water your lawn

    You don't need to use large amounts of water to keep your car and driveway clean.

    Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car rather than the hose - and wash it on the lawn (if you have one) to allow the run-off to water your grass.

    Sweep your driveway and footpath instead of hosing them and save 11 litres of water per minute.

Save water inside

Easy ways to save water while completing everyday tasks inside your home

We all love a long shower. On average 26% of all water usage is in the shower. Having a shorter shower is one of the many ways to reduce your water bill. Here's some other ways you can be waterwise at home.

  • Choose the half flush

    A quarter of all the water we use is flushed down the toilet. Choose the half flush button on your loo and you’ll save up to 35,000 litres of water every year.

    And remember, don’t use your toilet as a bin! Feminine hygiene products, wipes, tissues, and even goldfish should go in the bin. Flushing them wastes valuable water and can create costly blockages in your sewerage pipes and ours. Only flush pee, poo and toilet paper.

  • A leaking toilet can go unnoticed

    A leaking or running toilet can waste up to 96,000 litres of water a year. Yet toilet leaks can go unnoticed as the water trickles down the back of the bowl.

    To check if your toilet has a leak, remove the lid and place a few drops of food dye in the cistern. Don’t flush your toilet for 10-15 minutes. If the dye has seeped down into the bowl you’ll know you have a leak. Repeat this check every few months.

  • Use a timer in the shower and save

    Shorter showers not only save water, but the energy costs associated with making your water hot.

    Use a timer and see if you can limit the time you spend soaping up, washing down and rinsing off to just four-minutes. You’ll save up to 35 litres and our water storages and your hip pocket will thank you.

    Did you know old-style shower heads use up to 20 litres of water a minute? Consider replacing yours with a water efficient showerhead and you’ll us no more than nine litres a minute.

  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth

    A running tap can waster around 16 litres of water a minute and a dripping tap as much as 12,000 litres a year. That’s a lot of water!

    Make sure you turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Wet your brush and use a glass for rinsing. And if your tap is dripping, make sure you get it fixed.

  • Always run your washing machine with a full load

    15-20% of the water you use at home is in the laundry! In addition to water, your washing machine also uses large amounts of energy and detergents.

    To save water and energy, always run your washing machine with a full load – and choose a cold-water cycle. You'll save ten litres per wash.

    If you’re in the market for a new machine, a water efficient, front loading model with an automatic water level sensor is best. The more stars on your selected model, the more you’ll save.

  • Scrape don't rinse

    When stacking the dishwasher or washing dishes by hand, don’t rinse them under a running tap first – scrape them instead.

    Modern dishwashers are extremely water efficient, especially when used on the economy setting. If you're buying a new dishwasher, choose one with a 5-star (or better) WELS rating. But, only use your dishwasher when you have a full load.

Permanent Water Saving Rules

Do you know the five Permanent Water Saving Rules?

Our Permanent Water Saving Rukes encourage everyone to be more water efficient in their homes and gardens. Following these measures can cut your total water consumption at home by around one third and help you achieve best practice water use.

Permanent Water Saving Rules apply to all customers in the Coliban Water service area (unless other water restrictions are in place). They do not affect the use of grey, tank, bore or recycled water.

1. Use a leak-free, hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle at any time.

2. Watering systems can be used on residential or commercial gardens and lawns any day between 6pm and 10am. A bucket or watering can may be used at any time.

3. Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces can be watered at any time with a hand-held hose, bucket or watering can. A watering system fitted with a rain or soil moisture sensor can be used any day between 6pm and 10am.

4. Only use fountains or water features that recirculate water.

5. On hard surfaces a high-pressure hose, hand-held hose, or bucket can be used during construction, renovations or to remove a hazard. Hard surfaces can be cleaned once every three months if staining develops.

Click here to view our Water Restriction By-laws.