Water is a precious resource. As our climate is changing and we experience longer dry periods of no rain, coupled with increasing frequency of extreme rainfall and flooding events it is exceedingly important that we use our drinking water wisely. There are many simple things you can do in your home or workplace to reduce your water and energy bills, lessen your impact on the environment and help protect the security of our water supplies.
Reduce your water use
target 155 – making every drop count
Target 155 is a voluntary water efficiency program to encourage householders to use water responsibly and to aim for 155 litres per person per day. Target 155 is one of the water efficiency measures that are helping secure water for Victorians. Residential water use across the Melbourne region currently exceeds the target. With some simple changes, we can all try to save a few extra litres per day to reach Target 155.
Water use rules were introduced in 2011 following water restrictions, to help manage our water efficiency. They let you know how you can use water at home, garden and business. To learn more about current water use rules and ways you can make every drop count, see South East Water's webpage on Current Water Use Rules and Target 155.
Create a waterwise garden
Mulch and compost are important to a water-wise garden, and there are many ways to protect your plants from pests and diseases using natural methods that don’t rely on chemicals.
To find out more about water wise gardening see:
To purchase indigenious and drought tolerant plants visit the Shire Nursery.
For more ideas on waterwise gardening visit South East Water's Garden Program.
Monitor your water use, check & repair leaks
Visit South East Water's Check for leaks for more information on how to check for water leaks at your property.
Install water saving devices in your home
For more information on water saving devices visit Your Home - Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes.
Use alternative water supplies
Using rainwater is an easy and effective way to conserve water and reduce the amount of drinking (potable) water you use. Roof-collected rainwater can be used for many purposes and a rainwater tank can be an easy and efficient way to collect it. Tank water use is not restricted so it is a great way to keep your garden alive during water restrictions.
Visit Domestic Rainwater Tanks for more information on the installation and management of rainwater tanks.
Greywater is household waste water from the kitchen, bathroom or laundry that may be used to water gardens and lawns during extended dry periods.
To use greywater safely:
- Use it immediately – don’t store it
- Don’t use it on vegetables or anything you plan to eat
- Use detergents and soaps that contain low levels of phosphorous
- Wash your hands after watering
See EPA's website for further information.
Grey water re-use or dispersal must comply with the following table:
Grey Water Re-Use
Grey Water Diversion*
Must comply with EPA
No permanent fixtures
Sewer must be connected
*Temporary grey water diversion systems may be used only during dry periods in accordance with EPA Publication 891.4. The Shire cannot issue permits or approvals for temporary grey water diversion systems.
Visit EPA's Publication 891.4 for the Code of Practice 'On-site Waste Water Management'.
See Domestic Wastewater Management Plan for further information on domestic waste water disposal.
For further information contact the Environmental Health Team on 03 5950 1050.
Bore water is groundwater that has been accessed by drilling a bore into underground water storages called aquifers. If you wish to sink a bore, licences for new bores are assessed and granted by Southern Rural Water. For further information contact them on 1300 139 510 or visit their website.
Visit South East Water's Recycled Water webpage.
Plan new constructions /modifications to protect and save water - Sustainable design
For more information regarding sustainable house design see Your Home - Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes.
Make your Business more environmentally and financially sustainable
For more information regarding sustainable business practices at your business see Environmental Approaches for Business.