Water Conservation

Posted on 22nd February, 2010

One of the nine categories of the new Code for Sustainable Homes (see www.communities.gov.uk) is that of the level of water use. Even if the Code does not apply to where you live, it is a good step towards achieving sustainable houses and it is worthwhile to have a look at what it covers.

Apart from the moral environmental sustainability issues of water conservation, the proposals for water metering (i.e. pay-for-use) will provide additional incentives for us to reduce the amount of water we use. Water usage between similar house and family sizes can vary significantly, so the water usage calculator at http://www.taptips.ie/water-usage-calculator.htm is a useful tool for you to obtain an idea of how much water is used in your household.

Water Efficient Products    A wide range of products now exist to diminish our hitherto wasteful use of water in the home. We can install low-capacity W.C. cisterns and baths, shower restrictors to lessen water flow, efficient water taps, and water regulators.

Other solutions are also available; a urinal for instance is an excellent water-saving (and hygiene) feature in a household with a few male occupants and an aerating shower head will use much less water than a ‘power shower’ and will still give a refreshing effect. A useful guide to water efficient products is to be found at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk - and view the Products directory. Their ‘Top Twenty Tips’ for saving water in the bathroom also gives good commonsense advice.

Appliances          Water consumption information is usually listed separately from the energy efficiency labels on all new washing machines, dishwashers and driers, etc. Guidance on this is to be found at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/cwb_ch4_appliances_880694.pdf

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