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harvesting rain water

Rainwater tanks are a great water saver that helps reduce your water bill.  Using rain water tanks, which store rainwater run off from your roof to use on your garden, is rewarded by some councils with a cash back rebate.  Contact your local Council to see if you are eligible for a rebate.

The size and type of tank is determined by the size of your property. Tanks now come in all shapes and sizes and can even fit under your house or act as a fence.  Rain water tanks need regular and ongoing maintenance and should have some filtration to separate out any leaves, animal droppings and heavy metals from traffic.

Ensure the amount of water you capture makes your choice worthwhile for the environment and your hip pocket.

grey water re-use

Reusing water from your shower, bath, hand basin and laundry is a practical and sustainable way of watering the garden. 

Grey water can foster harmful pathogens and bacteria if left untreated but there are filters on the market to alleviate health concerns.  Regulations vary and you should check with your local Council, but most places allow untreated, diverted grey water connected to a sub surface irrigation system for garden irrigation.  Grey water should be tested to identify any potential problems before use on your garden. 

Areas that have heavy clay soils and an inability to provide an alternative disposal option in the case of system failure should not utilise a grey water system.

Use a phosphate and petrochemical free, biodegradable laundry powder, soaps and shampoo to safely reuse the water on the garden.

Grey water systems are fairly inexpensive and are available from plumbers or as DIY kits.  The simplest systems involve a pipe from your shower, bath, hand basin and washing machine to a slotted pipe that is buried underneath the garden soil. Others systems store water for use when required.  A system imitating ‘creek beds’ under or on the surface is another very effective means of harvesting water.  Treated grey water systems remove contaminants from the water and allow greater flexibility in how water is used.

irrigation    I   watering systems

  • If a sprinkler system is in use, make sure the water is landing on the garden and not the footpath, road, or your paved areas
  • Conventional sprinklers deliver large amounts of water to large areas and can be very wasteful if not carefully positioned
  • Computerised watering systems deliver a set amount of water at specified times, to specific parts of the garden.  Tap timers are a useful and cheap alternative
  • Consider replacing inefficient sprinkler systems with drip irrigation. The main advantage is that it sends water to the roots of your plants.  Inline drippers, weeping hoses and drip tubes are designed for placing under mulch. These are low pressure watering systems which, over a period of several hours, deliver water directly to plant roots. Inline drippers are also suitable for lawns
  • Check your sprinklers and timers regularly and make sure they’re working efficiently
  • If you’re not using an automatic timer for a sprinkler, use an alarm clock to remind yourself to turn it off
  • Use an adjustable water-efficient hose nozzle, that ranges from a high-pressure jet to a mist spray.  A trigger nozzle allows the water flow to be totally shut off.  Turn the tap off when you’ve finished to avoid leaks
  • Check your hose, connectors and nozzles regularly for leaks
  • Use a broom rather than a hose to remove leaves or dirt from hardscaping such as footpaths and driveways

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