Water saving tips

How to use less water in your home and garden

There are lots of ways you can save water around your home, indoors and outdoors. Don't forget – saving water will also save you money by reducing your water bill.

Water Wise Guidelines
Make sure you're always aware of water restrictions for Greater Sydney. Follow our current Water Wise Guidelines.


Fixing a leak is the quickest way to save water. There are 2 types of leaks:

  • Visible leaks should be a top priority. If you can see the leak, it's definitely costing you money. A leaking toilet can waste as much as 260 litres of water every day. A dripping tap can waste as much as 200 litres a day. Call your plumber, or book one of our WaterFix® Residential plumbers. They can repair visible leaks and install water efficient fittings in your home.
  • Concealed leaks are leaks hidden underground or in walls. They can be costly. If you can't see a leak but your bill has increased for no reason, you may have a problem. Call a specialist plumber or contact WaterFix Concealed Leaks.

Spotted a leak? Call your plumber or contact WaterFix Residential.

If you're experiencing financial difficulties, you may be eligible for free essential plumbing with PlumbAssist®.

Washing your car on the lawn lets you water the grass, too.

Lawns, gardens and sealed areas

  • Use a watering can or hose with a trigger nozzle to target areas that need water and avoid overwatering.
  • Water before 10am or after 4pm, when the sun's low. You'll reduce water loss through evaporation.
  • Ask your local nursery about drought-resistant trees and plants. Which ones suit the climate and soil in your area?
  • Pull out weeds as soon as they sprout. They take water away from your plants.
  • Group plants that need the same amount of water together so none of them get too much.
  • Water the roots of each plant, not the leaves.
  • Add a 7–10 centimetre deep layer of mulch around your plants to help prevent water from evaporating.
  • If you think you need a garden watering system, choose one with plenty of water efficiency options to prevent overwatering. A sprinkler uses 900 litres every hour.
  • Wash your car, bike, boat or caravan on the lawn using a bucket, or a hose with a trigger nozzle. You can water and fertilise the grass at the same time.
  • Use a broom or rake to get leaves or debris off driveways and other hard surfaces. Don't hose them off.
  • If you're laying a new lawn, choose something resilient, like buffalo, kikuyu or couch. Ask about new varieties developed for drought resistance.
  • Don't mow your lawn too short. Taller grass forms deeper roots and will cope better with less water.
  • Leave grass clippings behind to return moisture, nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

Pools and spas

  • You can reduce evaporation by 40%–90% just by using a pool blanket or liquid pool cover. Use a roller to easily spread and remove a pool blanket. A liquid pool cover forms a barrier on the surface to heat loss and evaporation. You don't have to remove or replace it.
  • Don't overfill. Overfilling can also prevent your filter from working effectively. The water level should be about halfway up the skimmer box.
  • Increase shade and add walls and hedges to shelter your pool from sun and wind. You'll reduce evaporation and protect swimmers from the sun.
  • Keep the water in the pool. Discourage jumping. It splashes water outside the pool.

You can reduce evaporation by 40%–90% by using a pool cover.

  • Only backwash your filter when necessary. If you keep your pool and filters clean, you won't need to backwash as often. Cartridge filters don't need to be backwashed at all.
  • If you have a sand filter, only backwash it until the glass goes clear – backwashing for longer wastes water. Sand filters need backwashing every 4–6 weeks, and can use up to 8,000 litres of water a year.
  • Find more pool water savings techniques on the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia's website.
  • Have leaks repaired as soon as you can. They not only waste water, they can undermine your pool's foundations.

Do-it-yourself pool check
1 Walk around the pool's edge and check between the pool and the filter equipment. Look for wet or eroded areas.
2 Inspect the plumbing and watch for obvious leaks.
3 Check if running the filter affects water loss.
4 Check your pool for cracks or tears. Inspect the tile line and inside the skimmer box.
5 Check the lighting. Underwater lights are often the source of leaks.

Showering for 4 minutes instead of 10 can save 54 litres of water a day.


  • Take shorter showers. Every minute under a shower with a standard showerhead uses around 9 litres of water. That's one full bucket. If everyone in Sydney cut their shower time by 10 seconds, we'd save over 8 million litres of water a day.
  • Use a plug to keep water in the sink for rinsing your razor or washing your face. Don't keep the tap running.
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.
  • Install a WELS 4-star rated showerhead to save on water and energy costs. Older showerheads use 15–25 litres per minute, but an efficient showerhead uses just 6–7 litres per minute.
  • When you replace your old toilet, get a dual flush. Single-flush toilets use 11 litres per flush, but modern dual-flush toilets use just 4.5 litres per full flush and 3 litres per half flush. Use the half flush whenever you can.
  • Take a look at WaterFix Residential for water saving showerheads, taps and toilets.


  • Only wash when you have a full load.
  • When you replace your washing machine, get a front loader. Top loaders use about 110 litres of water a load, but front loaders use about 60 litres – almost half.
  • Adjust the water level to suit the size of your load, and use the economy cycle if your machine has one.
  • Pre-treat stains to avoid rewashing.
  • Wear clothes and use towels more than once before they go into the washing basket.
  • If you're hand washing, use less washing powder. Fewer suds mean less rinsing.
  • Don't hand wash items one at a time. Plug the tub and do them together, and save all rinsing for last.
  • Check for visible leaks. WaterFix Residential can help to fix them.


  • Fill a jug and keep water in the fridge so you don't have to wait for tap water to run cold.
  • Wash vegetables in a plugged sink instead of under a running tap. Better yet, wash them in a bucket or bowl and water your plants with what you collect.
  • Thaw frozen food in the fridge or microwave, not under a running tap.
  • Make sure the dishwasher's full before turning it on.
  • Forget the pre-rinse. You only need to scrape plates and cutlery before loading them in the dishwasher.
  • Take a look at WaterFix Residential for water saving kitchen tap set replacements.

Don't do half loads in the dishwasher.

More ways to save water

  • Consider greywater reuse. Greywater is reusable wastewater from washing machines, showers, baths and basins. Untreated, it's a good source of important nutrients for many plants. When it's treated, you can also use it to flush toilets and wash your clothes.
  • Install a rainwater tank. If a rainwater tank is properly installed and plumbed into your home, you could save up to 40% of your drinking water supply and $200 a year off your water bills.
  • Set a target for the water you use. You can see your average daily water use on your water bill, and keep an eye on your water meter to track of how much water you're using.