Water wise tips

Turn it off, Bob

Our loveable larrikin Bob is still learning the hard way how to make water wise choices. Bob (aka Shane Jacobson) is the antihero once again in the next phase of our water wise campaign. Slowly he is learning the error in his ways and you can see the tips he’s taking to heart about creating a water wise home and garden.


Bob's top tips to be water wise in the garden

Other than his classic Torana, Bob’s pride and joy is his lawn. On any given weekend, you’ll probably find Bob out the front making sure every blade of his buffalo grass is in perfect shape. But he’s learning that you don’t need to keep the sprinkler running all day to have the best lawn on the block. Learn more about when to hand water or use an automatic irrigation system.


Other ways to save water in the garden

  • Plant for the climate and soil in your area. Talk to your local nursery about how to choose water wise plants for your garden.
  • Wash your car on the lawn using a hose with a trigger nozzle – you can water and fertilise the grass at the same time.
  • Pull out weeds as soon as they sprout so they don’t take water away from your plants.
  • Group plants that need the same amount of water together so that none of them get too much.
  • It’s the water in the soil that your plants thrive on, so water the roots of each plant, not its leaves.
  • Apply a 7–10 centimetre deep layer of mulch around your plants to help prevent water from evaporating.

Bob's top tips to be water wise in the pool

Bob enjoys a splash, but he knows you need to keep the water in the pool, not over the side. No bombing Bob! By following a few simple tips, you can keep cool in the pool and not need to continually top-up from the tap.

Other ways to save water in your pool

By reducing evaporation with a pool cover, sheltering your pool from sun and wind, and properly maintaining your pool, you can keep cool, have fun and still save water. Discourage people from constantly jumping in and out, to keep the water in the pool, not over the side.

Pool covers
  • A liquid pool cover creates a chemical barrier on the water's surface reducing evaporation by up to 40%.
  • Using a pool blanket can be more affordable. If used with a roller, it can be easily removed before pool use and spread again after you've finished swimming for the day.
Shade and shelter
  • Increasing shade over your pool will reduce evaporation and protect swimmers from the harsh Australian sun.
  • Reducing wind exposure by adding walls and hedges around your pool will help shelter it from the wind.
Pool maintenance

Only backwash your filter when necessary to save water. If you keep your pool and filters clean, you won't need to backwash as often.

  • Don't overfill your pool. This not only wastes water, but can prevent your filter from working effectively. The water level should be about half way up the skimmer box opening for the filter to function properly.
  • Sand filters require backwashing, which can use up to 8,000 L of water a year. You should backwash your sand filter once every four to six weeks. Only backwash until the glass goes clear - backwashing for longer just wastes water.
  • Cartridge filters don't need to be backwashed. 
Repair leaks
  • Leaks not only waste water, they can undermine the foundations of your pool. It makes sense to keep an eye on potential leaks and have them repaired as soon as you can.
  • Use the do it yourself pool check to keep an eye on leaks around your pool.

Read more ways to save water by downloading the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia's Best practice and debunking myths fact sheet.

Do-it-yourself pool check

  • Walk around the edge of the pool and check the area between the pool and the filter equipment. Look for wet or eroded areas.
  • Inspect the plumbing and watch for obvious leaks.
  • Check if running the filter affects water loss.
  • Check your pool for cracks or tears. Inspect the tile line and inside the skimmer box.
  • Check the lighting as underwater lights are often the source of leaks.

Bob's top tips to be water wise at home

Bob loves taking a long, steamy shower, but the first lesson he learned about saving water was to turn it off before things got out of hand. It’s a top tip for everybody. And Bob’s finding there are lots of other ways he can be water wise at home.


Other ways to save water at home 

  • Fill a container and keep water in the fridge rather than waiting for it to run cold from the tap.
  • Put a plug in your sink or fill a basin to wash vegetables – don’t use a running tap.
  • Wait till you have a full load of washing before you reach for the detergent.
  • Thaw frozen food in the fridge or microwave, not under a running tap.
  • Don't run water down the drain when rinsing your razor or washing your face. Use a plug in the bathroom basin.
  • Install a WELS 4-star rated water saving showerhead to save on water and energy costs.
  • Check for leaking taps and toilets around your home. Leak detection could be easier than you think.
  • Consider reusing your greywater.

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