As water metres are being installed throughout County Kildare the Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore would like to share with homes and businesses our top tips for conserving water.
The Bog of Allen Nature Centre is run by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council and although a charity we are viewed as a business. As a result for the past number of years the centre has been paying for water. To ensure the centres water bill is as low as possible staff and volunteers have put in place a water management plan.
Step 1: We recommend to monitor how much water you use. Its easy to do, take your water metre reading and then take your water meter reading again at the same time the following week. This gives you a starting point and tells you how much water you are using.
Step 2: Reduce water Usage: In the bathroom, many toilet cisterns will flush between 6-9 litres of water per flush. If you have a dual flush cistern you will already be reducing this water usage. For those of you who do not have a dual flush system sink a bottle into the bottom of the cistern this will take up space in the cistern and reduce the amount of water flushed. Did you know 6 litres of water can run down the sink while brushing your teeth with the tap on? Turn the tap off and you will use no more than one litre of water while doing the same task.
In the kitchen a modern appliance such as a dishwasher can use 20 litres of water while a washing machine can use from between 45-65 litres of water. These appliances are convenient and time saving when we compare how generations in the past had to do these same tasks but we must use them wisely. Ensure you always have a full load of dishes or clothes in each of these appliances before turning them on and if available choose the eco friendly setting.
In the garden there is nothing nicer then watching our gardens bloom in the summer time. With rainfall at its lowest at this time of year we often have to give our gardens a helping hand by watering them. A hose can deliver up to 9 litres of water per minute. If you attach a water butt to one of your downpipes from the gutters you can collect rainwater and then use this water to water your flowers and plants. Another tip is to water in the evening time when the sun is not as strong this will help to reduce evaporation of the water from the surface of flower beds. The water in your water butt can also be used for cleaning your pets pen, washing your car, washing out paint brushes and lots more.
Finally once you have put in place some of these water saving tips record your water metre reading again for a week. You should notice water savings on the metre reading, if you find that what you had expected to save is not as high as you thought this may indicate a leak in your water pipes on your property. This is exactly what happened at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre and we hope it highlights to you the importance of checking your water meter readings just as you would your electrivity readings.
You can visit the Bog of Allen Nature Centre Monday- Friday between 10am-4pm if you would like to see how the wildlife gardens of the centre not only save water but also use this water to create a range of wildlife habitats such as ponds and marshes.