Try our quick RiverSmart school checklist below.  It is important before starting that you:

1. First discuss this with your teacher. 

2. Get the schools' water use details for the past few years if possible, to see how water use changes with the seasons, and to give you a baseline water use figure to compare against as you become RiverSmart.

3. Look through the check-list and identify those aspects of it where teacher help and supervision will be needed, such as when checking the toilets or showers etc.

Every drop your school saves helps our rivers and wildlife and will make them places you can visit and enjoy more often.  Healthy rivers are also vital to our economy and for producing food and other products we rely on.  As a class exercise list the 'ecosystem' services we get from our healthy rivers.

Once you've done this audit, why not go on to do the checklist to find out if you're school is polluting our waterways ?

School water savings checklist

(Suggestion: you may want to print this out so you can write on it as you work through or download it here as a pdf file)

 

Everywhere:

 

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Are leaking taps and bubblers reported and repaired straight away ?

 

Toilets (make sure to look at all of them - those for children, staff and the disabled):

 

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Do you have dual flush toilets everywhere ?

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Are toilets reported and repaired straight away if they start to trickle constantly ?

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Do you have waterless urinals in the boys toilets ? these products are now widely available.

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Do the taps over the hand basins have flow reducers to avoid unnecessary high flows ?

 

Showers:

 

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Do you have shower timers on all showers to encourage those using them to keep their showers as short as possible ? (This applies to both children and staff showers)

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Do all showers have a water saving shower head fitted ?

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Do you have your showers hooked up to a grey water recycling system (where these are allowed), for watering gardens areas perhaps ?

 

Canteen and staff rooms:

 

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Do you only use the dishwasher (if you have one) when it's full ?
(What's the water rating of your dishwasher ? The more stars the better !)

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Do the teachers and canteen helpers have small buckets in the sinks to catch and re-use water while you're waiting for the hot water to come through or from handwashing ?

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Do your taps have flow reducers to avoid unnecessary high flows ?

 

Classrooms and science laboratories:

 

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Do you only use the dishwasher (if you have one in the science lab perhaps) when it's full ?
(What's the water rating of your dishwasher ? The more stars the better !)

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Do the taps in each room have flow reducers to avoid unnecessary high flows ?

 

Parking areas, other hard surfaces and vehicles:

 

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Do your maintenance people/gardeners sweep rather than hose down these areas ?

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Are school vehicles (if you have these) washed using a bucket, or at a car washing facility that recycles water ?

 

Gardens and lawns:

 

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Does your school have a grey water recycling system (where these are allowed) to help water the gardens and lawns ?

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Does your school have a tank or bladder system to collect rainwater, to then use on the gardens and lawns ?

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Have downpipe diverters been installed to help water the school gardens and lawns ?

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Do the gardeners mulch the gardens to help keep moisture in the soil ?

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Are there drippers or a similar irrigation system to reduce evaporate losses ?

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Where watering is done by hand, are trigger nozzles used ?

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Does watering of the school ovals and other grassed areas only happen at night, or late afternoon ?

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Does the school avoid watering its ovals and other grassed areas immediately after rain, or when rain is forecast.  (Automatic watering systems can over-water and waste lots of water)

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Has the school reduced its area of water-thirsty grassed areas, or maybe replaced some with artificial 'grass' ?

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Do the gardens have lots of water miser plants ?

 

There are 25 questions above.  If you scored above 20, then you're doing a great job and may qualify for being a RiverSmart School - contact us for more details.  Keep it up, and maybe try to get closer to 25 next time you audit.  Between 15 and 20 there's scope to do better. Under 15, then your school has room for lots of water savings. 

 

After you've done this water conservation audit, set your school a target to reduce water use, then re-do this checklist each three months or so.  It all helps !

 

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