Water-wise tips that save costs too

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IN LIGHT of the lowering dam levels due to the warm weather and long period of low rainfall, all consumers are requested to use water sparingly.

All consumers are advised to use the following water-saving tips in order to reduce their water consumption until the dam levels have improved:

Indoor water saving tips

●Wash only full loads of laundry in your washing machine or full loads of dishes in your dishwasher.

● Minimize faucet use when shaving, brushing teeth and washing dishes.

●Shorten your shower time to five minutes or less to save big on water and energy costs.

●Take showers instead of baths. A bathtub holds up to 189 litres of water, while a typical shower uses less than 76 litres.

●Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissue and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

●Don’t pre-rinse dishes. Check to see if your dishwasher can clean dishes without pre-rising them.

●Reuse clean household water. Collect all the water that is wasted while waiting for the hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead. Use this to water your houseplants or outdoor planters.

WATER WISE: The Department of Water Affairs and Buffalo City Metro Municipality has asked households to use water sparingly to prevent the low water levels in dams from worsening. If the situation continues to worsen, water restrictions may be imposed on residents Picture: DAILY DISPATCH FILE

Outdoor water saving tips

●Fix leaking faucets and toilets. Research has shown that an average of 8% or more of all home water use is wasted through leaks.

Drippings faucets can be quickly identified and repaired but other leaks are less obvious.

Testing for leaks is easy. For example, test for a leaking toilet by putting a few drops of food colouring into the water tank. If the colouring appears in the bowl, you have a leak. that needs repairing.

●Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing with water.

● Trees, shrubs and perennials, if well-established and well-placed, need less water than newly planted ones.

●Check for soil moisture before watering. Dig into the soil with a trowel a few inches.

If it feels moist, hold off.

●Water deeply, but infrequently. Wetting the soil surface without getting water to the root is pointless. The goal is to keep roots moist. But don’t overdo it.

Then, let the top few inches of the soil dry out between watering so the roots can breath.

●Minimise evaporation loss by watering early in the day or late at night, and when the wind is calm.

●Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering unnecessary areas such as driveways.

●Adjust watering to weather conditions.

●Mulch-mow your lawn. Set your mower higher at two inches and leave the clippings, which help retain moisture.

Consider letting your lawn go dormant. Water deeply only once a month to keep it alive.

To prevent runoff, you may need to water a short time, wait a few minutes, and then restart. Be sure to target areas that receive heavy foot traffic, since dormant grass can be damaged by heavy wear.

               EFFICIENT GARDEN WATERING TIPS

  • Repair leaky faucets, hoses and sprinklers to avoid water waste.
  • Add shut-off nozzles to your garden hose. Garden hoses can deliver over ten litres a minute if left unattended. It all adds up!
  • Select the right watering system. Drip irrigation is the best way to water most planting except lawns. Drip systems apply water directly to the soil minimal evaporation or runoff. They also help prevent plant diseases and make watering gardens easier. Soaker hoses are another option if used correctly.
  • Use Automatic Sprinkler Systems Efficiently. Automatically controlled irrigation systems can make efficient watering easier, but they often waste large amounts of water due to improper scheduling or maintenance. Follow  these smart-watering tips:

o       Adjust your watering schedule to track weather conditions at least once or twice a month

o       Install a rain shut-off to prevent watering during rainy periods. (for sources, check the phone directory business listing under irrigation Systems and Equipment).

o       Inspect your system a few times each year while it is running. Look for and repair leaking or broken sprinklers, and reposition those that spray areas.

o       Hire an irrigation professional to test and adjust your system annually.

  • Mulch your planting beds. Mulch is a material spread on the soil surface to slow water evaporation loose.
  • Improve water penetration in lawn area. Help water reach lawn roots by aerating your lawn.
  • Improve your soil. Add compost throughout your planting areas to add nutrients and increase the soil’s ability to absorb and store water.
  • Pick low-water plants. When you buy plants, choose varieties that require less water for immediate beauty and future water savings. Like any newly planted plants, these plants will need routine water until they are established, which can be one to three years.
  1. Group plants with similar water needs together. Good design avoids mixing plants that needs regular water with those that need little to no water

● All consumers are urged to report visible and suspected pipe bursts.

Contact: Mdantsane: (043)704-9860/1

King William’s Town: (043)604-8606/(040)608-3100

East London: (043)705-9234/5/6

After Hours: Toll Free 086-111-3017

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