Water Tips

Check Out Our Water Saving Tips!

Drinking Water Standards Compliance
Ministry of Health - Public Notice


Some plumbing fittings have the potential to allow minute traces of metals to accumulate in water standing in the fittings for several hours.  Although the health risk is small, the Ministry of Health recommends that you flush a mug full of water from your drinking-water tap each morning, before use to remove any metals that may have dissolved from the plumbing fittings.  We are recommending this simple precaution for all households, including those on public and private water supplies.

Director-General of Health




  1. Check for leaking pipes. Turn off all the properties taps and check to see if the water meter is still turning; if it is you probably have a leaking pipe. Call a plumber to fix the leak as a leaking pipe can waste over 400 litres an hour (that's over 3,504,000 litres of water a year).
  2. Fix dripping taps. You can save up to 100 litres a day (that's up to 36,500 litres of water a year), just by replacing a worn washer.
  3. Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to cool very hot water is wasteful.
  4. Aerated taps are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%.
  5. A running tap can send 14 litres of water down a drain every minute.



  1. For rinsing dishes or washing fruit and vegetables etc, half-fill your sink with water rather than leave the tap running.
  2. Use the minimum amount of dishwashing detergent (when washing dishes by hand) as this will reduce the amount of rinsing required.
  3. Use a compost pile or worm farm for food scraps rather than a waste disposal unit. Garbage disposal units use about 30 litres of water per day and send a lot of extra rubbish into the sewers. This places an additional load on sewerage treatment plants.
  4. Use economy settings for small loads in your dishwasher.
  5. If your dishwasher does not have an economy setting, only do full loads. Each time you use a dishwasher you use on average 40 litres of water, or 14,000 litres a year.
  6. When buying a new dishwasher, choose one that is water efficient.
  7. For cold drinking water keep a container of chilled water in the fridge, rather than running the cold water tap until the water is cold.

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  1. Turn the tap off when you're brushing your teeth or shaving. If you brush you teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, and leave the tap running, you waste approximately 56 litres per day - that's over 20,000 litres a year per person.
  2. An average shower head with mains pressure uses at least eleven litres of water per minute. If you have an eight minute shower that is 96 litres per day or 35,040 litres per year. A water efficient/low flow shower head can reduce your water usage to between five to seven litres per minute. They can cost as little as $50 and can save up to 50 litres of water for each six minute shower, or up to 20,000 litres of water per person per year. An efficient shower will also reduce your power bill, as you use less hot water.
  3. Showers use much less water than baths. The average bath uses over 150 litres. Only fill the bath with as much water as is required, for example you don't need so much when bathing children.

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  1. The average single flush toilet uses eleven litres per full flush. A household with three occupants flushes - on average - 15 times per day, which is 165 litres per day or over 60,000 litres per year.
  2. Modern dual flush toilets use only three to six litres of water per flush. This is 30% less than older dual flush cisterns and up to eight litres less than single flush toilets.
  3. A flush control device, such as gizmo, will save significant amounts of water on most types of toilet cisterns. It can save up to 30,000 litres per year. If you can't install a gizmo - a brick, a plastic bottle filled with pebbles or a zip-lock plastic bag filled with water can be placed in the cistern to reduce the amount of water used for each flush.
  4. It is common for toilet cisterns to leak or overflow. A leaking toilet waste litres of water each day. Check for leaks by putting a few drops of food dye into the cistern. If you have a leak, coloured water will appear in the bowl before the toilet has been flushed. If you have a leak either adjust the water level in the cistern or you may have to get it repaired.

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  1. 20% of your water is used in the laundry.
  2. Ensure you have a full-load of washing - each time you use a top loader washing machine you use 200 litres of water on average.
  3. If you don't have a full load, adjust the water level or use economy settings to suit the size of your wash load.
  4. Save water by reducing the rinse cycle.
  5. When buying a new washing machine, choose one that is water efficient. Front loaders use about half the water that top loaders use. Look for the "AAA" Water Conservation Label - the more "A"s the more water efficient it is. Improved washing machines use between 45-165 litres per load.
  6. Save your 'grey water' from your washing machine rinse and use it to water the garden.

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  1. Don't over water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer and every 10 to 14 days in the winter. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.
  2. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
  3. Don't water your street, driveway or sidewalk. Position your sprinklers so that your water lands on the lawn and shrubs ... not the paved areas.
  4. Install sprinklers that are the most water-efficient for each use. Micro and drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of water-efficient methods of irrigation.
  5. Regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices to be sure they are operating properly. It is now the law that "anyone who purchases and installs an automatic lawn sprinkler system MUST install a rain sensor device or switch which will override the irrigation cycle of the sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred." To retrofit your existing system, contact an irrigation professional for more information.
  6. Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely-clipped lawn.
  7. Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. Apply fertilizers which contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
  8. Mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps to control weeds that compete with plants for water.
  9. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and they usually will survive a dry period without any watering. Group plans together based on similar water needs.
  10. Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalk. Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from these areas. Using a hose to clean a driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
  11. Outfit your hose with a shut-off nozzle which can be adjusted down to fine spray so that water flows only as needed. When finished, "Turn it Off" at the faucet instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks.
  12. Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses to eliminate leaks.
  13. Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. Your garden hoses can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours, so don't leave the sprinkler running all day. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn it off.
  14. Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly.
  15. Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass to do so.
  16. Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled. Locate where there are mineral losses due to evaporation and wind drift.
  17. If you have a swimming pool, consider a new water-saving pool filter. A single back flushing with a traditional filter uses from l80 to 250 gallons or more of water.

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Rainwater tanks

Install a rainwater tank or barrel.

Washing your car

Wash using a bucket and rinse off with the hose. Wash your car on your lawn if possible this also has the added benefit of watering your lawn.

Utilities Manager Contact Details

Phone (06) 374 4080 (north) or (06) 376 0110
Fax (06) 374 4137
E-mail info@tararuadc.govt.nz
Website www.tararuadc.govt.nz
Location 26 Gordon Street, Dannevirke
Postal Address PO Box 115, Dannevirke