PROPERTY NEWS - Recent cut-offs and restrictions have brought home to many consumers just what a scarce - and costly - resource water is becoming in South Africa, says Berry Everitt, managing director of the Chas Everitt International property group.
And the shortages are especially evident in summer, he says, so homeowners should be doing everything they can right now to cut usage and keep their bills down.
Here are six suggestions to cut down on water wastage:
Water early and late
Set sprinkler systems to water your lawn and garden beds in the pre-dawn or post-sunset hours. Without the sun competing for your water, you'll have more water going into the soil than evaporating and you will be able to water less frequently.
Don't water the driveway or patio
Check your sprinklers regularly to ensure that they are working properly and spraying water where you want it. Directional sprinkler heads will ensure that your money spent on watering is only spent on things that grow.
Install rain sensors
Available from good hardware shops and irrigation equipment suppliers, these sensors will override a sprinkler system's settings so you don't double up on Mother Nature.
Save the rain
Putting water barrels or rain tanks under your downpipes to collect runoff from your roof is one of the best ways to keep outdoor water usage down. You can use the water to fill watering cans or buckets and water wherever your sprinkler system doesn't reach. If you install the tanks on platforms you may also be able to generate enough pressure to run a hose.
Don't pressure wash anything
Use a rake, broom or leaf vacuum to clean up your lawn or driveway, and a bucket and sponge to wash your car.
Check for leaks
Attend to any dripping taps immediately and check regularly for unseen leaks by turning off all your taps indoors and out (including the water supply to the toilet) and looking to see if your water meter is still running. If it is, call an expert to find and fix the problem as soon as possible, because even a small leak could cost you hundreds of rand a year. A dripping tap can waste more than a litre of water per hour.
Issued by Chas Everitt International