Chatham Primary School has been working hard to save water over the last couple of years.
Thanks to several grants, we have been able to install 5 water tanksaround the grounds. Two of these are connected to the children’s toilets, one is underground and collects all stormwater run-off for use on the oval, one supplies the vegie garden, and another a small formal garden.
The toilets have been upgraded to 5-star-rated water cisterns that use smaller amounts of water to flush. It’s nice to know that this water comes from our own tanks. The taps in the toilets were also upgraded to save water. When pressed, they come on for 7 seconds which is just long enough to wash your hands.
We collect much of the overflow from the drinking taps by keeping buckets underneath them. The grade 3s collect these buckets after each lunchtime and water the plants. We produced a document of guidelines for watering the plants to ensure the water is not wasted and no plants are forgotten or over-watered.
For the last three years we have planted indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses. These plants are already adapted for local conditions, so they don’t need watering except for when they’re very young and getting established. We regularly mulch the garden beds to minimise water evaporation from the soil. The only watering these plants receive is from the collected water under the drinking fountains. Mains water is never used.
SETS data has shown that, aside from a short-term increase in water use when we had new grass laid on the oval, our usage has steadily reduced.
Please read the attached document for more details and examples of the school’s water-saving efforts.