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Most of Auckland is connected to the city’s water supply and discharge system.
There are some areas, however, that rely on self-collection for their water needs such as Waiheke and Beachlands.
Auckland Council has strict regulations on some of the strategies mentioned in this article. It is, for example, difficult to install greywater systems for irrigation in most of Auckland’s urban areas. If you are building a new house in an area with reticulated water supply, you are required to be connected to it. In addition, depending on the size and the usage of your rainwater tank, you may need to apply for consent.
Ask the Council about local legislation before undertaking any new projects that involve independence from the mains.
Roof size for rain catchment
This is especially important if you are not connected to the mains water supply. Installing a water tank to supply all your water needs and not checking if the catchment area (usually the roof) is big enough might result in your rainwater tank not being able to meet your family’s needs. Sustainability consultants have specialised software that can determine the optimum relation between rainwater tank and roof sizes.
Under- or oversizing rainwater tanks
Sizing your rainwater tank to meet your needs is also essential. Knowing what you plan to use rainwater for and consulting an expert to determine the right tank size for your needs will prevent you from investing in one that is too big or installing one that will not meet your needs. When it comes to tank placement, you need to consider the weight of the tank when full. For example, a tank should not be placed on top of a retaining wall.
Bolting on systems late in the design process
Including systems early on in the design process is likely to result in solutions that are more effective and merge seamlessly with the design. Adding them later in the process or even during the construction stage will result in systems that look foreign to the design and might not achieve optimal aesthetic results or performance. You might also lose opportunities to achieve greater efficiencies by integrating systems together.
Hot water and its impact on energy consumption
Water and energy consumption are interrelated. Shorter shower times and more efficient showerheads, for example, will result in lower energy bills and lower water bills. By contrast, inefficient fittings, fixtures and appliances will result in higher energy and water consumption.
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