This page contains lots of suggestions on small changes everyone can make to be more 'water wise'.
Check out our extensive tips on how to save water around the home.
Protecting our water
Remember, the drain is just for rain
What goes down our stormwater drains ends up in our streams and in the sea. It's important that we all work to protect our river and streams, so that we can preserve Lower Hutt's riverside and beaches as great places to visit, and so that we can protect our precious harbour.
Not everything we put down the drain can be cleaned entirely during sewage treatment. A lot of chemicals will just get diluted before they go back into the sea. The less we pour down the drain, the better.
Ways you can help
Washing your car
The waste water that runs off a car when it's being washed contains heavy metals, detergents, oils and other nasties that your car picks up when it's on the road.
Your waste water shouldn't go straight into the drain. You can block off the stormwater drain with old towels or rags while you do your car wash. Park your car on the lawn instead, and let the grass filter the water - or take your car to a car wash (commercial car washes treat waste water before disposing of it into the sewer system).
Read some advice on washing your car at home
Read charity car wash info sheet (PDF 272KB) if you're planning to hold a charity car wash.
Painting and using solvents
- Rinse your paint brushes in a jar or bucket and dispose via Hazmobile
- Take old or leftover engine oil, petrol, etc. to the Hazmobile site
- Let chemical or paint residues evaporate/dry out and, depending on the substance, dispose of the container at the Hazmobile site or the landfill
Cleaning around the house
- Try using vinegar and baking soda instead of reaching straight for the bleach.
- Avoid harsh detergents or cleaning products. Using gentler cleaning products means you can reuse your grey water on the garden or for yard work
- Use natural detergents, skin and body care products wherever you can or try make your own
- Try to avoid microbeads - little bits of plastic that turn up in beauty products and household cleaners. They don't decompose and they're bad for ocean life
Reduce the amount of water going into storm water drains
- Install a water tank to capture rain from your rooftop. This can also provide additional water supply during droughts. You can buy a water tank from some of our libraries.
- Reduce the amount of area covered with concrete and bitumen (asphalt). Use permeable materials instead that allow water to flow back into the ground.
How you can find out more
For more information on how to save water or make your own cleaning products, come along to one of our sustainability workshops or book an on demand workshop.
Contact our Eco Design Advisor for information about installing rain water collection or grey water systems at firstname.lastname@example.org