Top tips for sustainable and environmentally friendly plumbing
'Sustainability' is the buzz word for everything from groceries, building sites, gardening and travel. Clever plumbing can also help you reach your sustainability goals on a budget.
Here are five ways to reduce your environmental impact using plumbing:
Reducing water waste and stopping leaks
Using quality materials, such as pipes and tapware
Installing solar hot water systems
Install a rainwater tank, to reuse and recycle water
Planting low maintenance and native plants in your garden
Let's look in more detail.
Reducing leaks reduces water waste
A leaking tap can waste as much as 20,000 litres of water per year! Not only do leaks waste water, but they can cause damage to your tapware in the long term. By repairing leaks from taps, toilets and water systems, your plumber can reduce your household water wastage. They can also advise on water-efficient showerheads, toilets, and taps.
Plumber Tip: Sometimes people might notice a bit of a wet patch in their lawn that's a bit unusual or maybe a greener patch than the rest of the grass. Then it turns out they get a high water bill. That's a pretty good sign that there's a pipe leaking in the ground in the front yard and its time to call your plumber.
Quality products result in fewer replacements
Here at Expert Plumbing, we use REHAU pipes for gas and water - robust, reliable pipes that have a service life of up to 50 years. These PEX pipes save your money in the long run, with fewer replacements and less waste. It is also worth making sure your tapware has a good WELS star rating - the more stars the better. All tapware sold in Australia comes with a WELS star rating label which indicates water efficiency for consumers.
Hot water with a conscience
People are increasingly changing over to a solar hot water system because of cheaper long-term running costs and environmental reasons (it saves you money on both your water and power bills). Australia is famous for its sunlight, so why not use it? Solar hot water systems are very reliable.
If you happen to get a few cloudy days in a row the solar hot water unit has a backup, which will heat the water just as any other normal hot water unit would do.
Reuse and recycle
Call your plumber to connect a rainwater tank to your toilet, garden taps, irrigation and/or washing machine to make the most of those wet winter days. A typical strategy is to use rainwater for the garden and some indoor uses such as toilet flushing and, clothes washing while sourcing drinking water and shower water from a mains water supply. Many local councils provide incentives for installing rainwater tanks as well, so it is worth checking to see you're eligible.
Planting natives and low maintenance plants that don't require irrigation will save you both time and water. Talk with your plumber about your storm water management to ensure your new plants don't get washed away at the first downpour!