Water saving tips

Here is a list of useful tips to help save water inside the home. More information about saving water can be found at the NSW Water website.



  • Wait for full loads - make sure you have a full load before using the dishwasher.
  • Don't double rinse - use the 'rinse and hold' setting on your dishwasher instead of rinsing plates under the tap.
  • Wash by hand - washing dishes by hand uses less than a third of the water used in one dishwasher cycle.


Washing Machines

  • Wait for full loads - make sure you have a full load before using the washing machine. Alternatively use the low water level setting for small loads.



  • Don't overfill - don't waste water by filling the bath more than necessary.
  • Consider the alternative - a three minute shower uses less than a third of the water in a half-full bath.
  • Share bath water.


  • Water-saving showers - install a water-efficient shower rose.
  • Take shorter showers - halve your usage by halving the time spent under the shower.
  • Reduce pressure - try a quarter turn of the tap instead of a full turn.


  • Install a dual-flush toilet.
  • Single flush toilets can be easily modified to use less water; fill a plastic bottle with water and place in the cistern to reduce the flush volume.
  • Don't use toilet unnecessarily eg. for flushing tissues. Do not flush items such as sanitary products, wipes, or wrappers.

Running taps

  • Need a drink? - Keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of waiting for the cold water to come through the tap.
  • Turn off tap while brushing - or wet your toothbrush and fill a glass for rinsing.
  • Use the plug - when preparing vegetables and washing hands, half-fill the sink instead of rinsing them under the tap.
  • Reduce pressure - try a quarter turn of the tap for regular use.

In the garden

  • Leave the grass clippings on the lawn after you mow or pile them on garden beds to prevent water loss through evaporation. Avoid cutting your grass so frequently as taller grass holds more water.
  • Use mulch or worms to improve the condition of your soil in garden beds. The water will then soak in and prevent up to 80% of evaporation loss. Mulch increases water retention and provides organic materials and nutrients essential to plant health. For best results apply at least 15cm thick.
  • Use a 'trigger' hose nozzle. This ensures better control and avoids wasted water when moving around your garden.
  • Use a soil wetting solution to increase water absorption and decrease run-off. These factors encourage deeper root systems and hardier plants. Effective on lawns, garden beds, potted plants and hanging plants.
  • Moisture crystals. These small crystals swell to hundreds of times their size in water. They act to retain water in the soil, making it available to plant roots for longer. Great for potted and hanging plants. Remove a small amount of soil from around plants (at least 5cm deep), sprinkle crystals and replace soil, or mix through potting mix.
  • Aerate the soil to allow better absorption of water.
  • Water gardens for a longer time but less frequently. This encourages deep root systems and helps them to be less dependent on regular watering.
  • Move potted plants into the shade to reduce water loss through evaporation.
  • Delay new plantings, particularly lawns. New plants tend to require large and frequent watering. Give your plants a better change at life by waiting until the rains come.
  • Reuse water on your garden by unsing a basin in your sink and water from your washing machine. Use phosphate-free detergents.
  • Sweep pathways with a broom.

Water hardness

Water hardness refers to the presence in water of calcium and magnesium, the origin of which is related to geological characteristics at the water’s source. Hard water, containing elevated levels of calcium and magnesium, causes difficulty in creating a soapy lather and forms crusty deposits (scale) in kettles, electric irons and washing machines. If the scale collects on heating elements it shortens their life and makes appliances less efficient.

The 'hardness' of Parkes' Water is classified in the Soft to Medium range and has an upper-bound hardness of about 179 mg/l, that is up to 1.79 mmol.

The European Brand Dishwashers require customers to add softening agents if the water is too hard. They quote measurements in “mmol”. Our readings are in mg/l or ppm. Below is the conversion guide:

Category Mmol/l Ppm (mg/l)
Very Soft 0-0.89 0 - 89
Soft 0.89 - 1.79 89 - 179
Medium - Hard 1.79 - 2.69 179 - 269
Hard 2.69 - 3.59 269 - 359
Very Hard 3.59+ 359+