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tap running saving water at Sydney Olympic Park

Water Use

Sydney Olympic Park is home to Australia’s most successful integrated water recycling system saving over 900 million litres of water annually. Harvested water is used across the precinct for landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, washing machines and water features or fountains. 
The Authority requires all new development to connect to the Authority’s recycled water system to reduce potable water consumption by all users.

During 2017-18,  919,821 kilolitres of recycled water (the equivalent of 368 Olympic swimming pools) was produced for use in Sydney Olympic Park and the adjacent suburb of Newington.

For more info read about the Authority’s Water Management

What can you do to reduce your water usage and associated water bills?

When purchasing appliances; find the product with the highest water efficiency by using the star rating label as a guide.

What can you do to save water in the kitchen?

  • Get your frozen foods defrosting earlier in the fridge, rather than using a sink full of water. 
  • Steam your veggies instead of boiling them- not only do does it save water, steamed vegetables are also a healthier option. See how to steam vegetables.
  • See how you can add more flavour to your steamed vegies. 
  • Repair leaky taps. Use a drip calculator to see how many litres of water you could loose down the sink with x amount of drips per minute! 
  • Install a flow regulator on existing kitchen and bathroom sink taps.
  • If you have a dishwasher, try and wait for a full load before putting it on. If your dishwasher as an economy cycle, try using it regularly to save water. Have a read of your dishwasher manual to find out what different settings can do. 

What can you do to save water in the laundry?

  • Wait until you have a full load before starting your washing machine. Or if less than a full load needs to be put on, adjust to the appropriate water-level by choosing the correct load size. 
  • For lesser soiled clothes, choose shorter washing cycles if available or skip the extra rinse in the cycle. Your clothes washer manual will set out what options are available to you. 
  • Remove stains prior to washing with ecofriendly products/recipes, instead of having to wash garments twice. Using a few basic products, see how it easy it can be to remove stains by following these recipes.

What can you do to save water in the bathroom?

  • Use the half-flush button on the toilet when appropriate.
  • If you have don’t have a dual flush toilet, employ a plumber to install a dual flush or adjust the flush volume.  
  • Try adjusting the flush volume yourself by inserting a water displacement device into the cistern. You can purchase the device or use a plastic bottle filled with water; the size of the device or bottle of water will depend on how much room is available in your cistern. To place the device in, remove toilet cistern lid and flush the toilet, once most of the water is gone, place your device in. When inserting a water displacement device, make sure that its placement doesn’t obstruct the flushing mechanism.
  • Repair a leaky toilet. To test your toilet for leaks, place a few drops of food colouring in the cistern. Wait approximately 15 minutes, to see if the food colouring appears in the toilet bowl. If colour appears in your toilet bowl then a leak is present. Make sure to flush the toilet after inspection to remove any food colouring in the toilet, and engage a plumber for repair.
  • Remove your old showerhead and replace it with a low-flow model.
  • Install a flow regulator on existing bathroom sink taps.
  • Reduce your showers to 5mins. There are a variety of timers you can utilise to help you keep track of time in the shower. 

What can you do to save water on the balcony garden?

  • Minimise outdoor water use in your garden balcony by selecting plants that are appropriate for local growing conditions. 
  • Only water plants at night, this way less water is lost via evaporation in the sunny hours of the day. 
  • To save on water when watering plant pots you could also try digging in a small ‘olla’ (unglazed terracotta vessel). Ollas can work as a type of drip irrigation for your pot plants. You install ‘ollas’ by digging them into the soil and burying them up to the narrow neck. When you fill the opening of the ‘olla’ exposed at the surface of the soil, the water slowly seeps through the unglazed terracotta and into the soil below. Make sure to cover the top opening of you ‘ollas’ when not filling with water, to eliminate evaporation. You can purchase your own small ‘olla’ or even try making your own ‘olla’ at a local pottery class. Lean more about ‘olla’ design and see how you can DIY.
  • Mulching is a great way to maximise the use of water put into your garden pots, as mulching helps to keep the moisture in soil and prevent evaporation. Learn about different types of mulch that can be utilised in your garden pots.

For further information on ways to minimise water use, see Your Home, Australia’s Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Homes.