What is Green Plumbing?
- 20 - 08 - 2019
- By Heritage Plumbing
Homeowners and business owners are always looking for new ways to ensure they consume water in an environmentally-friendly manner that has a positive impact for future generations. Green plumbing refers to methods and techniques to reduce water consumption by investing in eco-friendly plumbing modifications and taking steps to lower water consumption in all possible ways. Using less water also helps to save energy because less water needs to be pumped out of the grid and into homes and businesses for particular purposes.
Green plumbing is not only a trend that is adopted by few property owners. Instead, the techniques supporting green plumbing can be a regulatory requirement, and most people have adopted green plumbing techniques for decades. Most areas in Victoria are now required to comply with green plumbing techniques such as water usage restrictions, water tank installations, and solar hot water features for new properties. It is important that you and your builder understand these requirements when you are constructing your new property. Local councils also provide essential information, tips and workshops to help you think green about your water infrastructure and usage.
You might be wondering about common examples of green plumbing techniques and devices. Here is a list to get you started:
- water storage tanks;
- solar hot water systems;
- water saving taps and fittings (low-flow);
- grey water treatment systems;
- septic tanks;
- rainwater supplied toilets and washing machines;
- smart irrigation systems; and
- rain water harvesting.
To help you address common queries about green plumbing, we have prepared responses to questions we receive frequently. If you have further information, do not hesitate to give our team of plumbers a call.
Why go green?
Going green helps you do your bit for the environment. Water is a precious resource that needs to be used carefully and maintained appropriately. With a growing population, global warming and other uncontrollable factors, water is becoming a very lucrative commodity as water use and servicing costs rise. To counter these effects on the common property owner, it is important to embrace green plumbing techniques.
Going green will not cost you more in the long-term and it will not affect your way of living. The modifications will seamlessly transition you from consuming more water to consuming less water.
Is green plumbing costly?
Green plumbing modifications will cost you money in the short-term. Any modifications will cost you money unless the government supports a rebate. This is to be expected. However, your costs will be lower in the medium and long term. This is because you will be consuming less water.
For example, low-flow shower heads and toilets will minimise your water consumption when you take a shower or flush the toilet. A rainwater tank will save precious water from your roof plumbing network and allow you to water your garden for free (i.e. without using water from the grid). These are examples of small changes that you can make to minimise your water consumption.
Are solar hot water systems effective?
A solar hot water system operates by heating the water in a tank via solar technology. A solar panel or other similar device will be installed on your roof in a position that receives the most direct sunlight. This panel will charge the system that heats the water in the tank so that in addition to your instant hot water system, you can also rely on heated water powered directly from the sun. This is a common and effective modification because a hot water system unit can be costly from both an energy and water consumption perspective. This system can help you save electricity, gas and water costs. And, if you have a big family or operate a large business, the savings can be significant!
How do rainwater tanks work?
A rainwater tank collects water that falls onto your roof, passes into your gutters, through your downpipes and into the rainwater tank stored either to the side of the property or underneath it. Rainwater tanks are used to supply water to your garden, irrigation system, toilet, laundry and more. Remember to engage a qualified plumber when installing rainwater tanks because incorrect or DIY installations can cause flooding, backflow and other issues that could lead to sever plumbing issues or water damage.
How many green plumbing modifications should I make?
There is no rule on how many green plumbing modifications you should make. Unless you are required by law or regulations to make modifications to your property, remember to make as many modifications as is required. The easiest techniques are modifying your toilets, showerheads and taps. This will help you save water with common devices that are used daily. A rainwater tank, smart irrigation system (i.e. based on smart electronic timers) and a solar hot water system are also common modifications for many households but require greater upfront investment. Speak to us to learn about other green plumbing modifications that will not set you back too much in the short term.
How will I save money going green plumbing?
By going green plumbing, you will save money on your water bill. Also, if your water system requires gas or electricity connections (i.e. hot water or irrigation pumps), you will save money on those utilities too. There are very few downsides to going green given the modifications have been designed to ensure the changes are practicable and user-friendly. Also, if you can score a rebate from the government (either federal, state or local) that will help lower the upfront costs. However, do not save money by making DIY modifications. Remember to engage a plumber so that all modifications comply with the plumbing standards and have been made with quality assurance in mind.
At Heritage Plumbing Group, we can advise you on the latest green plumbing techniques, devices and technology. We have qualified, skilled and experienced plumbers who can carry out green plumbing modifications to your home or business so that you can do your bit for the environment.
If you have an existing property, or you are building a new property, remember to engage a plumber to advise on the best approach to consumer less water. For further information, browse our website or contact us on (03) 9498 0458.
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