5 Ways Your Plumber Can Help Drought-Proof Your Home

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Brisbane can be the city of plenty and not enough water. But we aren’t doing it as bad as our regional towns and communities, who have been experiencing severe drought and are in desperate need for rain. Almost two-thirds of Queensland is in drought, and the lack of water supplies affects industries, agriculture and can impact personal lifestyles.

Water is a precious resource and we often take it for granted. Being mindful of how much water we use each day is something we don’t consider, until the water supplies start to dwindle. It’s important to understand we all play a role in conserving water and ensuring we only use what we need.

Unfortunately, it can take a drought to prompt a change in the way we use water, but your plumber can help automate water conservation through a few changes around the house.

Here are 5 ways your plumber can help drought-proof your home.

1. Install a rainwater tank

Rainwater is free and collecting it in a tank can help reduce your water bill and lower your reliance on town water supplies. Of course, it has to rain in order to fill your tanks. But having a tank readily installed for when the rains do come, is a way to drought-proof your home.  Collecting this water and storing it for use to water gardens, clean cars, fill toilet cisterns and wash down the exterior of your home can ease consumption from drinkable water supplies used for personal use (ie drinking, cooking and personal hygiene)

2. Install water saving aerators

Using less water in the home makes sense, but it often requires a disciplined practice. Install water saving aerators to reduce the litres of water used through the spout. Your plumber can change the taps or add aerators to reduce the water through each spout.

3. Install dual flush toilet cisterns

Most homes should have dual flush toilet cisterns, but if you have an older, single flush toilet suite, consider changing it. Dual flush toilets are another automated way to use less water than needed when flushing a number 1 away.

4. Change over to a water-saving shower rose

There are often grumbles about the pressure of water-saving shower roses, but you can shower for twice as long in a water-saving shower than a shower rose without a restrictor. It’s well worth the investment to install a water-saving shower rose on all the showers.

5. Grey water diversion

Grey water is the waste water collected from washing machines, basins and sink wastes. This water can be re-used to water the garden. We need to be mindful of the soaps and washing powders used if the grey water is diverted. Some aren’t meant to be dispersed on gardens. If you use eco-friendly products, the grey water can be diverted. Grey water diversion may not be possible on some homes. Often a call out is needed to advise on the best diversion for your laundry set up.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your water consumption in the home, give Salmon Plumbing a call. We can help get your house better prepared for drought when water restrictions come in place.

How to Prevent a Moat Around Your House When the Rains Do Hit

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Summer is our wet season in Queensland and spring is the ideal time to check the external plumbing around your home. No one wants a moat around their house when the rains do hit.

Here are some checks and maintenance tips you can do around your house to ensure the water flows where it needs to go.

1. Clean the roof and remove debris

The roof is the largest surface area of the home, which is the first surface to be hit by rain. Ensure the roof is clean and debris-free so that when the rain does hit, it doesn’t wash away debris through the gutters or downpipes, causing a blockage.

2. Empty gutters of leaf debris

Cleaning gutters is an important job every spring to ensure there is no debris preventing the water from flowing through each channel to the storm water drains. Ensure the gutters are cleaned every spring. Leaf matter can break down and congeal in downpipes. This can cause a back-up of water when it rains, and this water has nowhere to go except overflow the edges of the gutters, falling around the house often causing an external flood.

3. Inspect rusty gutters and down pipes and ensure correct fall

Every spring, your gutters and down pipes should be inspected for rust and openings which can cause a water to fall through, instead of being directed away from the home through the existing storm water drainage. Get rusty gutters and down pipes replaced as soon as possible to avoid the inconvenience of an external flood.

Also check for backfall of gutters. The correct fall ensures the water flows towards the downpipes, not away from them.

4. Inspect storm water grates

Often rain events can wash away sand and dirt down storm water grates. This needs to be emptied to ensure a free channel of water to flow through when the next rain event hits.

5. Get your plumber to calculate the right number of downpipes for your roof surface area

Some houses just don’t have enough down pipes to meet the capacity of water fall from the surface area of their roof. If you think this is a problem at your property, call Salmon Plumbing out to investigate and offer a solution. This could be an opportunity to add a rainwater tank or two to be prepared for drought.

6. Have the correct sized storm water pipes underground

Most storm water pipes underground around houses are 90mm PVC. Often this pipe is not big enough for the amount of water that flows through the down pipes. Upgrading these pipes can help prevent a moat situation around your house during a heavy rain event.

Keeping gardens maintained and away from storm water grates ensures water can flow to where it needs to go when it matters most.

The external plumbing to your home is vitally important to prevent floods around your house. External floods can cause damage inside your house, by seeping through window and door openings. It’s an inconvenience that can be avoided with the right storm water drainage around your home.

Another health concern to be aware of is any type of pooling of water in gutters and around the home can also attract mosquitoes. The pools of water offer mozzies the the perfect spot to breed. This is a health concern as mosquitoes can spread the Zika Virus and Ross River Fever. Ensuring adequate storm water drainage can prevent mozzies making a home at your home.

If you have a storm water blockage or have concerns about how rain water is channeled away from your home, give Salmon Plumbing a call. Our plumbers can offer solutions so you’re better prepared when the wet weather hits this summer.

5 Tips To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Rainwater Tank

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Rainwater tanks are a great way to save on your water bills. The collection of rainwater is a system that can be of great benefit to the environment. But any plumbing system that collects and stores water needs to be maintained, and the rainwater tank is one such system that is often out of sight, so out of mind.

But an alarming news story aired on Channel 9 last Friday stated new research has found the Aedes aegypti mosquito has been discovered in a number of towns in the Wide Bay region, and close to Brisbane.

This mosquito is the culprit for infectious diseases including dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

With the cold and flu season upon us, the last threat we need is that of dengue fever.

The most common areas for mosquitoes to breed are near water supplies and CSIRO are urging all rainwater tank owners within Brisbane to look at their rainwater tank systems to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever.

Research has shown the last epidemic for dengue fever in Brisbane was when there was a lot of use of unsealed water tanks.

It’s important to check the current state of your water tank and fix these issues if found during your inspection.

1. Check the mesh sieves into and from your rainwater tank

The mesh barrier at the top of your rainwater tank should be intact and have no penetrations. Any holes will attract mosquitoes. Replace the mesh to keep mozzies out of your tank.

2. Clean all gutters and downpipes

Leaf matter attracts mosquitoes as this is their food source. Remove the food and the mozzies won’t come looking for a home. Ensure your gutters and downpipes are free from all leaf debris. It’s important to clean your gutters twice a year.

3. Inspect the tank and check for holes or penetrations

Any penetrations or open holes into the tank are an uninvited entry waiting to happen. Replace or fix broken rainwater tanks. Your plumber can give you a quote on the cost to replace and install a split rainwater tank.

4. Check your first flush device

Your first flush device, connected to the outlet of the water tank should be flushed every 3 months. A biannual inspection can check for malfunctions and the possibility of mosquito presence.

5. Treat the water

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water tank, the rainwater can be treated. This will stop mosquitoes laying eggs and kill any larvae already present in the tank.

Rainwater tank maintenance is a Salmon Plumbing speciality. The next time you book a call out, why not get our plumber to check the state of your rainwater tank system? It could be vital for your health and those living in the wider Brisbane community.