Nearly half of all water consumed in the home is used in the bathroom and 20 per cent of that water is flushed down the toilet.

Look for products that have a high WELS star rating. The more stars, the more water efficient the product. A standard three-star rated showerhead can save the average home $60 a year in water and energy costs and be purchased for $50 or less.

Saving Water in the Shower

Three-star rated showerheads use no more than 9 litres of water per minute, while old style showerheads use 15–20 litres per minute.

If you shower for six minutes, a water efficient showerhead can save up to 50 litres of water for each shower or up to 20,000 litres of water per person per year.

  • Take shorter showers. Limit time spent in the shower to soap up, wash down, and rinse off. Shorter showers save on energy costs associated with heating water. Aim for a 4 minute shower.
  • Use a shower timer. Choose from a manual four-minute egg timer or a more sophisticated electronic timer that either attaches to the shower wall or showerhead, or is wired into the wall during construction.
  • Use a bucket to collect water while waiting for the shower to get hot.
  • Shave your legs before taking a shower. Use running shower water to rinse off.
  • Consider an instantaneous water heater if your existing water heater is located some distance to the bathroom. Talk to a plumber first to make sure it will work adequately with your three-star showerhead.

Saving Water in the Toilet

The new four-star rated toilets can save the average home up to 24,000 litres per year. These new toilets use just four and a half litres for a full flush and three litres for a half flush.

If you can’t afford a new toilet, you can purchase small gadgets to reduce the volume used with each flush of an older style toilet. They work by causing the toilet to flush for as long as the button is pressed.

Leakage from a toilet cistern can range from 10L/day for a barely visible leak to 260L/day or more for leaks large enough to be visible  and/or have an audible refilling hiss. CHeck for leaks by putting a few drops of food dye in the cistern. If you have a leak, coloured water will appear in the bowl before the toilet has been flushed.