Don't waste your precious rainwater!

Water Wise Tips for your house and garden

Every drop of rain is precious in Australia. For years, the rural community have successfully been collecting runoff water from the roofs of their homes, and often their sheds too. So why not be even smarter and collect water from the roof of your own water tank!

Heritage Water Tanks offers a unique and highly efficient guttering system for the roof of your water tank, giving you a much greater water catchment area. This system has been certified by the Smart Approved WaterMark Program, which is the nationally standard for Waterwise products in Australia.

By incorporating a gutter system on a circular rain water tank, you can eliminate wasted rainfall, through harvesting the runoff water into your tank. Significant volumes of water can be collected this way, and often from just a small rain-shower. For example, a 110,000L water tank in a rain fall area of 500mm, could collect up to an extra 24,000L of water each year. This equates to nearly a quarter of the tank’s capacity. So instead of valuable rain water from the tank roof being lost as runoff to the ground, this precious commodity can now be harvested directly into your water tank.

Have a look at our Water Tank Gutter Calculator to see how much water your tank could potentially collect.

Aside from efficient rainwater collection, it is also very important to be careful with water use around your home and garden. Our Waterwise Tips within this fact sheet offers you a range of handy ways to go about ensuring your precious tank water lasts the whole year.

If you would like more information about our range of water tanks or how to save water, please call 1800 115 552 or email

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  • Clean your gutters and leaf basket

Clean your gutters and leaf basket every Autumn to ensure that your inlets flow freely into your water tank.

  • Fix a dripping tap

Fix a dripping tap and save up to 10,000 litres of water a year.

  • Upgrade to WELS rated taps or fit aerators

Upgrade to WELS rated taps, or fit flow controlled tap aerators to reduce water wastage. Fit taps that are WELS 4 star in the kitchen and laundry, and 6 star at the bathroom sink. Tap aerators are easy to fit yourself if your taps are threaded at the spout.

  • Avoid pre-rinsing your dishes

Scrape any excess food from dishes rather than pre-rinsing them before loading the sink or dishwasher. Pre-rinsing dishes can easily double your dish washing water use.

  • Plug your sink when washing vegies

Use a plug or a bowl when washing vegies instead of running them under a tap. A running tap really adds to water wastage. By putting a plug or bowl in the sink the same job can be done with less than 10 litres of water.

  • Use the fan setting on your evaporative AC

Switch your evaporative air conditioner to ‘fan only’ setting for 2 hours a day, at night and on humid days. Evaporative air conditioning can use large amounts of water – around 60-100L of water per hour.

  • Make sure your home is leak free

Leaks are wasteful and can be tricky to spot. A licensed Waterwise Plumber with leak detection services can help identify those hard to spot leaks.

  • Check your AC regularly

Evaporative air conditioning can waste water through faults or leaks. Regularly check your evaporative air conditioner for leaks, maintain flow control and clean filter pads.

  • Waterwise Products can help you save water

When buying a new appliance like a dishwasher or washing machine look for 4 WELS stars or above. The more stars the appliance has the more efficient it will be, and the less water it will use.

  • Only use your dishwasher when it is full

Using a dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes can save water. A WELS 4 star dishwasher uses around 15 litres of water compared to a standard 22 litre capacity kitchen sink. Remember to only use your dishwasher when it is full.

  • Upgrade to WELS rated taps or fit aerators

Upgrade to WELS rated taps, or fit flow controlled tap aerators to reduce water wastage. Fit taps that are WELS 4 star in the kitchen and laundry, and 6 star at the bathroom sink. Tap aerators are easy to fit yourself if your taps are threaded at the spout.

  • Use greywater in your garden

Reuse greywater to water plants in your garden and save water. A greywater system can help you save drinking water by watering your garden with water from the bath, shower or washing machine. For more information about greywater reuse systems visit the Greywater and Wastewater Industry Group’s website and contact your local council.

  • Upgrade to a water efficient washing machine

Newer models are gentler on your clothes and more energy efficient. When selecting a washing machine look for the stars on the WELS label, the more stars the more water you will save.

  • Make your new home waterwise

Building Codes of Australia have set a benchmark for water efficiency requirements for all new homes. When planning to build your home look for opportunities to go above and beyond the minimum standards, both inside and outside the home, for long term reduced water use. Visit the Australian Building Codes Board website for more information.

  • Front loading washing machines are more water efficient

Front loading washing machines are more water efficient than top loaders of the same size. A WELS 4.5 star model uses up to 35% less water than a conventional top loading washing machine for the same load.

  • Switch to a water efficient showerhead

22% of total household water use is used in the shower alone, and much of it is heated, so you’re using energy too.

  • Take shorter showers

Reducing shower times is one of the easiest ways to save water and saving hot water also reduces energy bills. Many people use a shower timer to aim for a 4 minute shower.

  • A leaking toilet wastes water

Do you have a leak? A constant trickle into the bowl wastes around 9,000 litres a year. To check for this type of leak, simply place a sheet of toilet paper under the rim in the back of the bowl (do this half an hour after the last flush when the bowl should be dry).  If the paper soaks up water, you have a leaking cistern and need to call a licensed Plumber.

  • Catch the cold water

While waiting for your water to heat up, collect the cold water from the sink or shower and reuse it on the garden. You could be catching as much as 10 litres for every minute you are waiting for the water to heat up.

  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth

Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth will reduce wasted water – 8/10 people have adopted this habit, have you?

  • Upgrade to a dual flush toilet

Single flush toilets waste water, most households are upgrading to dual flush models. Replacing a standard single flush toilet with a dual flush system could save up to 80 litres a day. If you’re replacing the toilet replace both the pan and cistern. WELS 4 star models use 3 litres for a half flush and 4.5 litres for a full flush.

  • Water once per watering day

The biggest water savings you can make come from the garden. It’s important to only water once per rostered watering day, either before 9am or after 6pm, but not both times. Before 9am is best as it allows for the water to soak into the roots and be available to the plant throughout the day when they need it most.

  • Reduce your watering time

Most of us can reduce our fixed spray sprinkler run time by 2 minutes per station and still maintain a healthy garden. Aim for watering run of 10 minutes per station if you have a pop-up for fixed spray system – and shorter still in cooler months and if you have waterwise plants in your garden.

  • Reduce your lawn area

Reducing your lawn to just the area you need will save water and maintenance. Replace lawn with a surface treatment that doesn’t require irrigation.

  • Design a waterwise garden

Design a waterwise garden to suit your lifestyle and save water. A waterwise garden is a balance between plants, lawn and hardscapes, such as paving, to provide a fit for purpose space that suits your lifestyle. Be aware that garden water use from a single hose can use up to 1,200l/hour.

  • Using a pool cover can save you both water and money

An uncovered pool loses around 45,000 litres of water a year through evaporation. Without a pool cover it is possible to lose more than your pool’s entire volume of water every year through evaporation.


Waterwise Tips sourced from