saving water

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by forest, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. forest

    forest Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Does anyone have any innovative tips they want to share about how they save water?

    I'm on the saving resources section of my book and I'd welcome input by from anyone who would like to offer suggestions. I'm interested in how you save rainwater when it's raining, how you save water in the home, what things you've cut back on etc. Thanks for your help, everyone. :)
     
  2. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    g'day forest,

    too easy mate
    1.. a composting toilet
    2.. run all grey water to the vege's and fruit trees
    3.. share a bath don't use showers
    4.. use a twin tub washer for us 2 one lot of wash water and rinse water does all our clothes.
    5.. wash smalls in the bath water before pulling the plug
    6.. hand wash dishes only when the load justifies the amount of water for me alone that means every 3 days and for both of us about every second day.
    7.. least but no last mulch every thing very heavily fruit trees and vege gardens. when i say heavy i mean like around 20"s around trees and up to 10"s in teh vege gardens.
    8.. nearly forgot put in enough tanks at least 5,000 gallon size and around 3 to 5 for the average home and any sheds should have at least one tank to collect water.

    we also save our (someone here is gunna love this) night water as well as water used to soak pots and pans as well as tea/coffee cup and drink dregs all goes to the gardesn daily.

    len :D
     
  3. grease

    grease Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think Len's just about covered it
     
  4. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Len, wouldn't a bath use much more water than a shower??
     
  5. Lolly

    Lolly Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Corny.. not if you have teenage girls in the house! :lol:
     
  6. seussrules

    seussrules Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We have a 'slops' bucket for all excess kitchen water (eg pasta water, that little bit in the bottom of the glass that my partner never drinks, the cold water that comes out of the tap before the hot kicks in etc), which is used to water indoor and outdoor pot plants.

    I have also put a brick in our old toilet cistern to reduce the water flow. And...err...we don't flush very often... :shock:
     
  7. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  8. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    g'day cornonthecob,

    it could do if you fill the bath we can both bath using around 60 litres of water and when grandkids are here we add a bit more and 2 adults and 3 kids use the same water washing cleanest first. a well practised adult would be lucky to get away with 50 litres of water per shower (not washing hair) per person the average is in the 60 to 70 litre range. also using bath allows for water to be used in the washing machine or go to washing the dog as well, and for those without some grey water diversion it allows for bucketing or other the water to gardens.

    len
     
  9. forest

    forest Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very impressive. I had some of them but certainly not all. Thanks everyone.

    I shudder to think that every time we go to the toilet, we flush 11 litres of water away. If you go say 5 - 6 times a day, that's at least 55 litres a day or 20,000 litres a year just to flush the toilet! We've stopped flushing so much and I remind DH: If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down. :lol:

    Len, do you have any of your water tanks not sitting on a cement slab or wooden support structure like in the old days? If so, can you give me the run down of what you did. Thanks.
     
  10. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,536
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    There is a great book called "The Humanure Handbook". It is a book that looks at how to treat feces, and points out that to a visitor from another planet, the cooncept of shitting in drinking water, flushing it, and then treating the water to remove the shit, would look completely crazy.

    He offers several suggestions and overviews of various composting latrines, carousel models, etc, but he himself uses the shit/sawdust/bucket method of accumulating the feces, and treats it through thermophilic composting, which heats the feces up so high that any pathogens, parasites or viruses will be killed within a day.

    Its a fantastic book, very, very funny (as books about shit should be), and after reading it, I have felt guilty every time I have been somewhere I had to use a flush toilet, for all the reasons you stated, Forest.

    Check it out. Its a very good book.
     
  11. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    802
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Take the water from your second rinse cycle on your clothes washing and use that on your first cycle on the the next wash, your clothes are always rinsed in clean water. we have 4 buckets next to the machine which we used and hand tip them back in on the second wash. Do you gardening clothes in the last wash, don't keep that water in buckets for long as it does go off.

    This is the biggest water saving thing we do, 60lts a load, 4 loads a week is about 12500lts a year.

    Oh and the other rule here for flushing toilets.

    If it's yellow let it mellow,
    If it's brown flush it down.

    I want to get a compost toilet, but that's more for the compost than water saving. In the two years here we have never had to buy water unlike our many neighbours.

    In PNG their was a business called "Mr SHit" and had a few trucks driving around town with the logo on them, it was always good for a laugh, he ran for local gov just before we left, he ran under his company name. Mr Shit for PM.... :lol:
     
  12. forest

    forest Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's a coincidence Baz, we have Mr Shit for our PM here too.

    For the past 10 years we've had one of those Swedish washing machines that use 60 litres of water per wash. It won't allow you to open the machine until it's empty. We do 3 loads a week now that it's just the two of us. When we sell our shop, that will be cut down again as we won't have to look so presentable.

    "ASKO Tumble Action Washer ASKO washers use as little as 5.7 gallons of water per load (versus 44 for most top-loaders, 28 for domestic front-loaders), saving you as much as 16,000 gallons per year. They also use 75% less electricity than top-loaders, up to 40% less than domestic front-loaders for a normal wash load. Finally, ASKO cleans so efficiently, you need only one-third the detergent and no bleach. "
     
  13. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    saving water

    Yep, Seussrules, was going to suggest the kitchen slops bucket.
    I have recently re-introduced it and am astonished at how full it gets and how quickly.
    Another tip is the mug for the tooth brushing. I just shudder at those toothpaste ads where everyone brushes their teeth with the tap running full bore. INSTEAD: Fill the mug, dip the toothbrush. Brush, gulps from mug to rinse mouth, rinse brush in mug, MAYBE a quick rinse then of the mug. It would be interesting to see a comparison between this technique and the ad way. Watching some people with the tap running, I would estimate they waste a good bucket (11 litres) just brushing. (!!!!!) it is amazing how quickly a bucket fills with the tap full on.

    Hey - Forest, you not getting all "political" on us now - Mr Shit - I laughed right out loud in my very non-laughie office!!!!

    Chris - the humanure concept - clean water, add shit, remove shit for clean water should run alongside RF's little homily on The Lord and Lawns. Water it, fertilise it, cut it, poison it, water it....... cut it.... madnesssss
     
  14. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Where I grew up, there was a bloke who used to pump the septics... the motto on the back of his truck read,

    " It may be shit to you, But it is our bread and butter ! "
     
  15. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    g'day forest,

    we use poly tanks these ones are sitting on cement, but they can be sat on levelled soil with no sharp stones in it probably a sandy soil would be better you realy don't need anything fancy.

    len :)
     
  16. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    just to add to the thread maybe managing water would be the better description?

    most of our water gets 3 uses some up to 4, using say 3,000 gallons a year in the washing machine might read better if some of that water came from the bath tub to the washing machine, then went to the vege' gardens that's 3 uses as i see it.

    len :?
     
  17. forest

    forest Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    re the tank, Len. I was hoping to see that about the sharp sand. We are adding more water tanks soon and my other half says we should have one of those oval ones that will fit on our pre-existing slab near the house. I want to put one near the house and one near the shed for our fruit trees but I don't want to put down any more slabs. I love using rain water on my vegetables and fruit.
     
  18. Franceyne

    Franceyne Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We use very little water - our tank is constantly oveflowing and we never get close to the end of it...I was trying to think why.

    I think it has a lot to do with how many times we shower...Both Glenn and I have waist length hair - I wash mine about once every 7-10 days and Glenn about every 5-7. He has about three showers a week...I have less. I like a sponge clean in a handbasin of water instead of standing under the shower...

    I think this saves us a lot of water. Most people that I work with feel that they have to shower everyday (or more often :shock: ) - and wash their hair everyday...perhaps this is just everyone falling for the marketing push to sell lots of soap and shampoo :lol: Water is actually not real good for your skin and hair - them being slightly acid and water usually being slightly alkaline.

    So my suggestion (which is too late I know) is shower less frequently :D

    Cheers,
    Fran.
     
  19. mariet

    mariet Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    saving water

    I do shower daily and the grey water goes straight onto the garden. Saves me having to stand there with the hose. I grow all our veg and now most of the fruit so I think that what water I use is not wasted. Also peeing on the citrus saves water and feeds them at the same time. Not growing ornamental plants or annuals for show only helps. I grow flowers that double up in use such as sweet peas, sunflowers. I think a lot of vegetables have incredible flowers like carrots.
     

Share This Page

-->