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Councils ask residents to make water savings a holiday habit

Published: 21/12/2022

Hamilton City Council’s City Waters Unit Director Maire Porter said the holidays usually signal the start of higher water use across the region as temperatures rise and people are at home more often.

“Despite recent rainfall we have already seen spikes in water use on sunny days, so now is a good time to remind people to use water sustainably,” said Porter.

Holidays also mean more washing or frequent dishwasher cycles. Porter recommends running machines at night when water demand is lower and only when the washing machine or dishwasher is full.

A large amount of the Hamilton and Waipā’s outdoor water use is from hoses and sprinklers, with people often using them for longer than needed. Personal pools are often widely used over summer but adding a pool cover or treating pool water with chemicals can help to stop hundreds of litres of water from going to waste.

“Watering your plants two or three times a week for five minutes, rather than shallow watering multiple times a week, can be better for your plants and will go a long way towards saving water. If you’re washing your car for an upcoming trip away, move your vehicle to the lawn so the grass can get a good soaking too.

“Small changes will collectively have a big impact in the long term. Smart water starts with all of us, so we encourage you to adopt one or two simple water saving tips, educate your friends, family, and neighbours, and let us know if you see any water wastage,” said Porter.

Waipā District Council’s water services manager Martin Mould said Waipā often sees an increase in water use in the lead up to Christmas and summer holidays.

“Before the summer heat sets in this is a great time for people to check for any leaks. A toilet leak is often silent and a continuously running toilet can waste more 700 litres of water a day.

“To check for a toilet leak, remove the toilet cistern lid, put a few drops of blue or green food colouring into the cistern, wait 15 minutes and if the water in the bowl has changed colour then you have a leak,” said Mould.

A deteriorating washer in the inlet or flush valve is a common cause of water leaking into the toilet bowl.

For more tips to save water around the home, visit www.smartwater.org.nz.

Residents are encouraged to sign up to an e-newsletter at www.smartwater.org.nz/subscribe or download the Antenno phone app for water restriction and alert level notifications.

The Smart Water summer campaign aims to change long-term habits around water use and water appreciation. The initiative is a joint venture between Hamilton City Council, Waitomo District Council and Waipā District Council.

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