Water Water Everywhere

Oct 1, 2014 by

There’s been lots of talk lately about water, water charges and water meters. Understandably, there is also lots of confusion but one thing is sure, no one is going to pour water down the drain anymore.

I have a shallow bore well here, hand dug probably in the early 70’s. If I open it I get vertigo. It’s pretty amazing really that they dug to that depth by hand and lined it with stone.  However, in the last few dry summers we have had to be very careful with water usage. About three years ago it almost ran dry but we were able to run a series of hoses up through the field and fill it from a deep bore well down in the yard.

Shallow bore hand dug well (30 foot)

This year the well has dipped below the level of the foot valve and the pump has got airlocked several times. Yesterday was the latest. We have had so little rain all summer and even this past spring. This September has been the dryest on record. We tried the old hose trick but almost ran the deep bore well dry.

I have had to get very clever about water conservation as a result. We haven’t used the dishwasher or washing machine now for about 6 weeks. Absolutely no water is wasted. Everything is recycled. 

After a while it becomes second nature. Here are some water saving tips.

1. Only flush the loo when absolutely necessary. Go by the old adage “if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

2. Wash up dishes in a washing up bowl with minimal washing up liquid. I went out and bought a smaller bowl than the one I already had. If you don’t foam up to the moon, you won’t have to rinse so much and let’s face it, no one wants to be eating washing up liquid.

3. After the washing up is done, use the water in the bowl to soak your dishcloth by adding some bleach or use it to water containers or house plants. If you haven’t used lots of washing up liquid you won’t kill the plants.

4. Spend minimal time in the shower. Wash and go.

5. Get out of the habit of running the tap. Ever. If you are waiting for it to get hot, fill a kettle with it or a bucket.

6. Hand wash “smalls” in a bucket by leaving to soak over night and giving them a quick rinse next day. Spin in your washing machine. This leaves a bit more space for a big wash. Obviously, if you have small children this may be difficult but for adults it’s not.

7. Only put on the dishwasher and the washing machine when full. Use shorter “economy” cycles.

8. Install water butts in your garden. I use mine for drinking water for all the animals here and if there is any left for watering plants. Leave buckets at various intervals outside. You will be amazed how much water you will collect.

Clean water is a precious commodity. Clean water pumped into your house costs money. I have had to pay electricity and pump maintenance for years now. As a result I have clean, flouride free water which I value and appreciate.

People argue that they already pay taxes which should go towards this utility. Yes, they do. But I pay tax as well and I don’t get water so why should my tax pay for those that do? By that argument I should get a tax rebate.

If you follow some or all of the tips above you will save money and stop pouring water or money down the drain. And you won’t be contributing to massive salaries for the board of Irish Water.  

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