Tuesday 27 September 2016

Ten worthwhile ways to spend your €100 water conservation grant

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

The water conservation grant has already been received by some people who signed up to it
The water conservation grant has already been received by some people who signed up to it

Last Thursday was the final deadline to apply for the €100 water conservation grant. Many of us have already received that grant - and who doesn't love the smell of free money in the morning?

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If you haven't blown your €100 on the weekly shopping yet - and would like to use it to buy something which will help you save water, here are ten things worth considering.

Aerated shower-head: €60 to €70

These shower-heads save water because they mix air into the water flow. "The shower feels the same and you can save over 25pc of the water flow," says Jacob Tompkins, managing director of British water conservationists, Waterwise.

"This will save well over €100 on annual water and energy bills."

However do your research before you buy such a showerhead - as some eco shower heads don't save as much water as they claim to. The Mira eco shower head is worth investing in, according to recent research by the British consumer bible Which? magazine. Make sure the shower-head suits your shower though.

You can pick up the Mira shower-head for between €60 and €70, depending on the store - and whether you go for plastic or chrome.

Shower timer: €10

Rather than buy a new shower-head, you could simply just spend less time in the shower.

A shower timer sets the minutes and seconds you want to shower and after the set time, the timer will beep as a sign to stop showering. The timer can be mounted on your shower wall. A Powerplus shower timer costs about €10.

Water butt: €40

Butts allow you to catch large amounts of rainwater and to use that rainwater to water your lawn or flowers.

A 100-litre water butt typically costs between €30 and €40. Some retailers have occasional offers where you can get a 210-litre butt for about €40.

Toilet cistern device: A few euro

Flushed toilets account for about a third of the water used by a typical household. So cutting back on the amount of water you use in each flush makes sense. Toilet cistern devices - which essentially reduce the amount of water used per flush - are worth considering.

"If you have a toilet with a handle you can probably fit one of these," said Mr Tompkins. "Generally it's a bag with swell-gel - or that you can fill with water. You put it in the cistern and it saves about one litre per flush.

"Alternatively you can use a 33cl fizzy drink bottle filled with water - but please don't use a brick, because it will end up damaging the cistern."

The Hippo Water Saver -which saves around 2.5 litres a flush - was recently tipped by Which? magazine as a good toilet cistern device.

"Any submerged object would do," said Which?. "A few handfuls of marbles will achieve the same effect."

Dual flush valve: €25

Dual flush toilets typically use between a third and a half of the amount of water that an old-style flush system uses, according to Waterwise.

You might not have to buy a new toilet to get a dual flush -as you may simply be able to buy and fit a dual flush valve. The valves are typically priced around €25.

Repair your leak: Hundreds or maybe even thousands of euro

Your water conservation grant is unlikely to cover the full cost of a leak repair. It could cost you a few hundred euro to repair a water leak. Indeed, the bill could run to several hundred or even into the thousands if the leak is hard to find.

Under Irish Water's 'first fix' scheme, households are entitled to have the first leak identified on the external water supply pipe repaired for free - but internal leaks within the home won't be covered.

Repairing a leak in your home should save you money on water charges in the long run.

Cupán Amháin: €95

This is a new kind of kettle which boils the exact amount of water you need. It should save you on energy and water. It's available from watersave.ie.

Cup: €2

Running the tap when brushing your teeth is one of the biggest wastes of water. Use a cup of water instead when brushing.

Tap aerator: €10 to €20

You can cut back on the amount of water you waste when running the tap by fitting aerators to all of the taps in your home.

These devices fit or screw onto your tap spout to restrict the flow of water and introduce air - meaning you get the same pressure using less water. Before buying them however, check if the aerator will fit onto your taps.

Waterless urinal: about €45

Converting your urinal to a waterless one can save hundreds of thousands of litres of water. Water Warrior (from the Whiffaway Group) is one such product.

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