Cafe saves water in courtyard

dining area

Saving water in their outdoor space with a DIY drip-irrigation system.


Café owner gets innovative to reduce his water bill


With a busy kitchen, outdoor courtyard dining, and on-site bathrooms, water is a key resource for Sassafras of Paddington cafe. In addition to the cost of water, owner Chris Zirbel estimated they were spending $60 a week or more on time spent watering their potted plants.


While Chris recognises that water-saving devices are not appropriate for all his kitchen taps, where they need to fill large pots of water quickly, they do what they can to reduce water in other areas. 

In the courtyard and garden, Chris installed a DIY drip irrigation system and water-saving timers for around $200. This system provides water to the right spots at the right time.

Before this, his staff were spending up to 30 minutes every second day watering the garden with a hose. “If you think about a hose, only 10% of the water might actually end up on the plants,” Chris estimates. “The drip irrigation system turns on for 10 minutes every second day and only sends water where it is needed”.

These changes have reduced the café’s quarterly bill by around $100. That’s in addition to the approximately $60 a week in staff time that can now be spent elsewhere. 


$3,500 a year saved

Through a drip irrigation system that reduced water use and time on garden maintenance.

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