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Green Smart Magazine : 2009_new
It's well known that Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent. Yet many other countries have been decades ahead in their water reuse methods, including the Netherlands and Singapore -- who recycle blackwater (treated sewage) as drinking water. Now after years of crippling drought and rapidly dwindling water supplies, Australia is catching up. In these days of water restrictions and heightened water awareness there are a number of innovative ways we can go about saving, capturing and recycling water through our kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and gardens. More and more Australians are recycling their water using the various means available, i.e. through: • rainwater collection (or 'har vesting') • use of water-efficient showerheads, tapware, toilets and whitegoods • untreated greywater reuse • water-efficient gardens • treated wastewater reuse. Rainwater is free and, thanks to the huge variety of tanks now available, easy to collect. However, like treated wastewater, it is not recommended for human consumption, as contaminants such as bird droppings, or airborne pollutants (in urban areas) can find their way into tanks. This can be overcome to a degree with filtering and purifying systems, but should still be approached with caution.* Tanks these days can be virtually any shape or size -- from above ground, in-ground, under-slab, in-slab or in the guise of 'fences' -- and come in solid concrete, steel, plastic, copper or fibreglass, or even waterbladders. And if you don't have the advantage of gravity to feed your water to its outlet, there is a variety of pumps around to do the job for you. Water-smart appliances and fittings around the home will also help you to save both potable (drinking) and treated wastewater. Products such as showerheads, tapware and toilet systems are all rated by WELS (the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme) using a one- to six-star rating scale to help consumers to identify those products which Photo courtesy Adam Sebastian West greensmart 2009 69 waterwise We can no longer afford to let even greywater go down the drain. too precious story > Louise Tigchelaar to waste > ABOVE: There are now numerous, effective ways to collect and reuse water around the house ways to save • if you have a top-loading washing machine replace it with a front-loader • use the shower rather than the bath and use a timer to make sure you're out in four to five minutes • fix leaky tap washers immediately • install the most water efficient rated tapware and showerheads • install a hot water recirculation system to save water going down the drain.