Thursday, October 18, 2007


    Worries me.

    I'm always thinking of it these days, and once, in a rental, as newlyweds, I used to go out in the middle of the night and turn off a neighbour's sprinklers, that had been going *for hours*.
    Every night.

    And this was 12yrs ago, way before the government-approved 'crisis' ( they should have got onto this sooner - people watering driveways get on my goat )

    Still, i'm no angel, and it has only been this year that I have been recycling the washing machine and bucketing the baby-bathwater/ showering with buckets.
    And i'm a bit disgusted with myself for not doing this sooner - do you KNOW how much water a washing machine uses ?

    For me, it's about 19x 8lt buckets per wash. There's about 10 on the wash, and 9 on the rinse.
    That's excessive*

    Our water bills give us a rundown on 'how we're doing' in comparison with the average family, and we're really, really good.
    Which makes me wonder about how shit everyone else is.
    The boy had a shallow bath this afternoon, and that was another 3 buckets saved and on the garden.

    Sorry if you're a drainer, but when I think about the amount of people that just let this perfectly good water run down the drain, I kinda freak out a bit.

    One of my early Sales Jobs was in Water Purification, and even though it was dodgy as, and my my paycheque bounced a fewtimes, and the guy that owned the company ended up in prison, it WAS a real eye-opener and back then, in the olden days, nobody cared.

    Anyway, I just couldn't believe, when I tabulated today**, I would have poured about 460 litres of 'slightly used' water on my plants.

    Water the country doesn't have.
    So I can have clean towels.
    It seems so wrong.

    Anyway, we had a short quick rain the other day and lookee what the temp watertank caught !

    Our 'real' one, long overdue, arrives in 4weeks time, and this one will move to catch rain off the garage.

    Sorry about the rant, but please, if it's yellow, let it mellow ... and all that ...., and quit those deep soaking baths unless you recycle ... please ?!!?

    * the washing machine is about 10yrs old - a more water-efficient front-loader is on the list.
    ** today was not a normal day, it's rare that I would need to do 3x full loads in a day - that's usually a week's allocation... but still ...


    Stomper Girl said...

    It's a whole new way of living, isn't it? I used to think it was disgusting when little kids didn't flush the loo, now we promote it!

    Damselfly said...

    Water worries me too. I live in an area where there are water restrictions but people don't really follow them and the police have better things to do than ticket people who are sprinkling their sidewalk in midday. It amazes me that utilities warn we could go to year-round restrictions, and we have had several news reports this year about one area of the state (more populated -- overdeveloped actually) trying to get water from another area (less populated) and still they allow golf courses to keep their fairways green and overfertilized.

    Melody said...

    What really annoys me is when I see people watering their paths/driveways etc., That has ALWAYS gotten my goat!! Urgh. And sprinklers. Urgh!

    I grew up in the country (as you know) where we had our own water tank, no 'town water'. I grew up to be water-wise, I guess because we had our own tank and had to be aware of how much water was in there. I remember a few times in the early 80's where we had to get a water tanker in to fill up our tank and it was *expensive*...

    Even now, living in Cairns where we have soooo much water it isn't funny, I still am water-wise. Or try to be, even though I do feel a little guilty when I rinse the rice! Oh the guilt!! I make sure I only run the dish washer when packed to the rafters too. We don't have water-saver shower heads on our showers in this apartment. I remember when we were looking at this place and I said to the real estate agent "There isn't any water saver heads on the showers" (and this place is only 2 years old!) and she looked at me like I was stupid and said "Urgh. Water saver heads? Why would you want one of those, I know what I'd prefer to shower under!!" Well, actually, I do not mind those water saver heads!

    Speaking of washing machines, we bought a few months back a Fisher and Paykel Washing Machine, top-loader, water saver machine. 4 water stars and is up to 30% more efficent than some front loaders. And the QLD govt. offered us a $200 rebate on it, which made the $1100 price tag a little more attractive. It is a great machine and not back breaking work like those front-loader ones.... (check them out anyway, I really love ours!)

    I wrote a lot didn't I? I love a good rant sometime...

    meggie said...

    Gom rants & raves & has been heard savaging an old man for indiscriminately hosing his path!
    We dont use our bath at all, & have buckets in the shower.

    Uli said...

    Having just been overseas it reminds me how much we're actually good at this here. Full flow showers in nice hotels in other countries just feel wrong, rather than a luxury, and watching miles of French footpaths being hosed down with litres and litres of water every morning made me feel awful.

    I'm in a flat so it's hard for me to recycle the washing water - hard to collect and nowhere to send it - but then I have an efficient front loader and only generally do two loads per week, so I don't think I'm doing too badly considering. But I certainly gave up on the deep soaking baths and lengthy showers some time ago.

    You sound like you're doing well though.

    Stacey said...

    I'm so with you on this one, H&B. We installed two 5000 litre tanks earlier this year and they are full, even with the piss poor rain we have had. Makes me think how much we could save if we had tanks on all public buildings as a starting point.
    We also do the bucket in the shower, which I then use to refill the toilet cistern. We do the if its yellow thing, but we are going through bottles and bottles of Toilet Duck every week as I am so conscious of it getting smelly (two little boys and all that).
    Our front loader is awesome. We've always had front loaders and I love them. I think they wash the clothes better although it is a pain if I drop a sock or something on the way to the washing machine and find it after the cycle has started - can't just lift the lid and pop it in.
    Ours is an Asko and I couldn't speak more highly of it.
    I remember my Dad used to hose the driveway and gutter every Sunday morning. The horror!!

    Louise said...

    Yep, we're with you on the shallow baths, buckets in the showers etc. I've also have had a front loader for years. And my new one even opens after the cycle has started! But I hate to tell you - our washing load seemed to increase so much after the second child!!

    Blue Moon Girl said...

    I am in awe of how much water the washing machine uses! In our old house, our nasty old washing machine that used way too much water overflowed all over. I thought we would never be done mopping. That was the moment that I realized just how much water we use and how much better we needed to do.

    Now we have a lovely water-efficient front-loader. Seriously the best investment. We still drain the water into this big bucket to use outside.

    I try to save water wherever I can. We probably don't do nearly as much as you do though! We are very careful about the outside watering though. I am already planning to completely re-do our front yard next spring and put in water saving plants and rock instead of the grass.

    dancingmorganmouse said...

    You rant away & get the message across. It drives me nutty how much water is wasted by the selfish and unthinking. I miss not having a lawn but I don't miss how much water would have gone into keeping it green.

    Kirsty said...

    Yay for recycling water. Have you tried one of those polypipes from bunnings for your washing machine water? It makes the job MUCH easier. I posted about DIY syphon earlier in the week which is fabulous - I use our bath & shower water to fill the washing machine.

    tracey petersen said...

    If we had water uncovered like that in NQ we would be breeding mosquitoes in just hours. The council comes around to check that we don't have any water sitting anywhere!

    Saving water is just logical, but it takes a crisis for human logic to kick in sometimes.

    sue said...

    I have to agree with being annoyed about people washing down their driveways. Use a broom and sweep it. We put all our washing machine water on the lawn, our shower water on the plants and the water we save by waiting for it to heat up for the dishes we use for the vegies. At least our water bill is lower too and not much water is wasted. I like the new look of your blog too.

    librarygirl said...

    Our tank man just finished connecting our tank and pump this please let it rain so the vegies can be watered more than twice a week!
    And has it occured to you how ridiculous that it is only low flow shower heads? There should be low flow on every inside basin, kitchen and so on.

    M said...

    I've been going crazy wondering why our water usage is so high and yet we don't water our garden at all and just use water to shower, drink and wash.

    UNTIL...I found our washing machine leaking. We have been using DOUBLE the normal amount of water in our machine. BIG leak. Oh dear. Have temporary solution pending call to plumber/washing machine person. eeek.

    Good on you for thinking so carefully about water usage.

    jorth said...

    Hear, hear!

    I'm getting so anal about saving water for the garden that I'm even saving water from boiling/steaming veggies. And each morning the mint plant gets a special drink of any water left over from the glass next to my bed!

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