Why save water?

There are five good reasons for taking water conservation action in Upper Hutt:

  1. Council buys water on your behalf so the less water we use as a city, the less we get billed, freeing up funds for other uses and assisting Council in its efforts to curb rates increases.
  2. A typical household wastes about a third of the water it uses.
  3. The environmental health of the Hutt River is of increasing concern for residents and council e.g. low flows over summer are a contributing factor in the growth of toxic algae which has resulted in 11 dog deaths in the last decade.
  4. A typical household’s energy bill is about one third hot water! If you reduce your hot water consumption, it will also save you big money on your energy costs.
  5. Climate scientists predict a trend towards drier periods for Wellington and NZ more generally; this means we need to constantly look to improve our water use efficiency to ensure we don’t run out in times of water shortage.

Water conservation tips – what can I do to save water.

Currently about one third of the water each person uses on a daily basis is wasted and there are simple things you can do every day to help our city conserve water.

Inside the house …

  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving, a running tap wastes 6 litres of water a minute.
  • Put a 1.5 or 2 litre plastic bottle in your single flush toilet cistern, save up to 30L per day.
  • Fix dripping taps or leaking toilet cisterns, save as much as 100 litres a day.
  • Take a shorter shower, a double whammy that saves water and energy.
  • Install a water efficient shower head, this could save you hundreds of dollars on your hot water bills.
  • Install a dual flush toilet cistern, about a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water we use in our homes is flushed down the toilet.
  • Run washing machines and dishwashers with a full load and on their economy setting, another double whammy that saves water and energy.
  • Look for and buy AAA water conservation rating appliances.
  • During summer, keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge, saves running water waiting for it to turn cold.
  • Put a plug in the sink when washing vegetables, save up to 6 litres per minute.
  • Install tap aerators, reduce the flow by 50% without reducing pressure.

Outside in the garden …

  • Buy a trigger gun attachment for your hose, this cheap device will prevent water wastage when using the hose.
  • Choose plants and grass that need less water, native plants often do better than exotics and attract wonderful native birds and will save you thousands of litres per week in watering.
  • Install/use a drip system, this will help save you money and prevent water loss through evaporation.
  • Let your grass grow longer and accept it may not be as green over summer.
  • Longer blades of grass promote deeper roots and shade the ground better.
  • Wash the car less, use a bucket instead of the hose and wash it on the lawn and water it at the same time.
  • Consider rain water collection tanks to water your garden. Rain water is free and abundant, capturing some of this water for use will significantly reduce your total water consumption.
  • Consider installing a grey water diverter and filter. A grey water system uses your waste water to irrigate your garden. Note: Grey water is waste water that is not contaminated with human faecal waste i.e. everything that goes down the drain expect the toilet and can safely be re-used on your garden. Grey water is not recommended for food growing gardens.
  • Watering restrictions apply all year round in Upper Hutt. Click here for information about garden watering restrictions.

How do I fix a leaky tap or toilet?

Have a look at our handy instruction leaflet here. It tells you what kind of taps you can fix at home and when you need to call a plumber. If you can fix it at home there are step by step instructions on how to do so.
Remember, if you are still unsure after reading the leaflet, then it’s best to ring a plumber.

Water consumption

In Upper Hutt domestic water consumption is currently averaging 215L/person/day which is similar to the average for other cities in the Wellington region. Understanding where all of our household water gets used helps us to save water in the right places. The following graph shows estimated household water use in Wellington.

Source: Turning on the tap, Chapter 5. Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Most of our household water is used in the bathroom, laundry and toilet. During the summer months outdoor use increased significantly. See the above tips on how to reduce your water consumption.

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Last updated on 13 Feb 2018