Amanda Bierre measuring how much water is wasted from a leaking toilet. Amanda Bierre measuring how much water is wasted from a leaking toilet. CREDIT: Taupo District Council

Saving water a priority for Council

Wednesday 17 December 2008, 5:14PM
By Taupo District Council


Former Taupo nui-a-Tia student Amanda Bierre has been hard at work auditing Council’s water use since winning a BayerBoost scholarship to carry out water and waste audits at Taupo District Council.


The first focus of Miss Bierre’s work has been to identify if any water is being wasted from dripping taps or other leaks in Council buildings. “I am particularly looking for leaks from dripping taps and toilets in the Council buildings,” she said. “It is great that the Council wants these found and fixed quickly so they are conserving water.”


Council’s Environmental Educator Sarah Painter says Taupo needs to change its attitude to water and think before turning on the tap or hose.


“This summer is predicted to be hot and dry again and the possibility of the Waikato region being in drought conditions are high. We need to conserve water now before a drought hits,” says Miss Painter.


Leaking toilets are a major source of water wastage in the home. The most common form of toilet leak is water running continuously down the back of the bowl.


“Many of us have a leaking toilet without even knowing it” says Miss Bierre. “There is an easy way to find out if your toilet is leaking – simply place a piece of toilet paper at the back of the toilet bowl – if it gets wet then you know your toilet is leaking”.


A toilet leak that is only just visible can waste a staggering 140,000L water a year – that’s enough to fill 950 bathtubs. “Instructions on how to fix toilet and tap leaks are available from Council or on our website, as well as ways that you can conserve water and help do your bit,” says Miss Painter.


Miss Bierre’s work is forming part of the Waikato region’s WaterSmart campaign, of which Taupo District Council is a part of. Councils throughout the Waikato have joined together to launch the regional water conservation project to remind the public that water is precious. Some of the key water tips that are being promoted as part of the campaign include watering gardens in the morning or evening, mulching around plants, addressing leaks and installing low flow devices on taps and showers, turning off the tap when brushing teeth or shaving, washing cars and boats with a bucket and sponge not the hose and keeping daily showers to four minutes.