The majority of water usage in the home is done indoors, accounting for approximately 93% of the overall water usage at home. This includes toilets, personal washing, kitchen, clothes washing.
We can all help reduce waste by making small behavioural changes and by choosing more water efficient products.
Brushing your teeth:
- Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth - a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute.
Leak detection and repair:
- To detect a slow leak add a few drops of food colouring to your toilet cistern
- Don’t flush it for around an hour
- If the food colouring is present after an hour, you have a leak. L
- Its easy to fix though! You could find a recommended plumber to call or if you fancy a bit of DIY take the parts to the hardware store and ask the staff to help replace them
- Remember to check again for a leak once fixed.
There are around 45 million toilets in UK homes – this equates to flushing an estimated 2 billion litres of water every day! About 30% of total water used in the household is through toilet flushing.
Purchase a water efficient toilet:
- Dual flush toilets have a split flush button which gives the user the choice of how much water to use
- Dual flush toilets typically use 4-6 litres of water opposed to the old style flush systems which use a massive 13 litres per flush.
Cistern Displacement Device (CDD):
- A CDD is placed in the cistern to displace around 1 litre of water every time you flush. They are super easy to install.
- Installing a CDD can achieve savings of up to 5000 litres per year
- They are available for FREE from most water companies
- Try to avoid flushing away cotton ball or make up tissues, simply throwing them in a bin will cut down on the amount of water wasted with every flush.
Showers have become increasingly popular, in the 1970s less than 20% of homes had a shower, today ownership is at 85%.
By being water efficient in the shower doesn’t only save you money on your water bill, it will have a positive effect on your energy bill too because of the heating of water associated with showering.
- Aerated showerheads reduce the flow but don’t compromise on pressure. They maintain the pressure by mixing in air with water to produce a steady, even spray.
- Low flow showerheads reduce the amount of water used, whilst still giving you the feel of a normal shower.
- The average time spent in the shower varies considerably, but the general trend showers longer showers are on the rise
- To help keep track of time try using a shower timer, they help to keep shower times reduced. If everyone used a shower timer we would save enough water to supply 1 million homes every day
A bath typically uses around 80 litres, while a short shower can use as little as a third of that amount. But beware since many power-showers may actually use more than a bath.
- By running your bath by just an inch shorter than usual you can save on average 5 litres of water.
Reuse bath water
- You can minimise your water use by reusing your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden.
The kitchen tap and dishwasher account for 8 – 14% of water used in the home.
- Try and use a full load every time. This can be helped by ensuring you buy a dishwasher with a capacity suitable for your household size.
- Experiment with different settings on your dishwasher, many modern machines offer ‘Eco’ or ‘Economy’ setting which use less water and energy. These can even be more efficient than hand washing.
- Avoid pre rinsing dishes, detergents are highly effective, so all you need to do is simply scrape and place. Easy.
- Taps can vary in flow volume, from 2 – 25 litres per minute. Peoples behaviours also vary, whether you fully twist the tap to how long you leave it on for can all have an impact
- Try adding a washing up bowl or plug into your sink to catch excess. This can reduce water wastage by 50% and be used to wash your veg in.
- Adding a tap aerator can help to reduce the flow, similar to the shower.
- Clothes washing now accounts for 15% of water we use in our homes
- When buying a washing machine, have a look at the Waterwise ranking (inc link), tbe best models will typically use less than 7.5 litres per kg.
- Remember to read the manual to find out which cycles are the most water efficient
- Surveys show that a typical load of washing is usually much less than the maximum capacity of the model, stuff in a few extra shirts to make the most of your loads!
- This is one area you should NOT cut back your useage, UK tap water is one of the best in the world. Enjoy it.
- Fridge it, putting a large bottle of tap water in the fridge will ensure you can have chilled water all the time. Waiting for the tap to run cold can waste more than 10l of tap water a day.
- Plants love to have a drink of any leftover water in glasses
- Try to fill the kettle with only what is needed, this will save water and energy.
- Using the lid on saucepans reduces the amount of water lost, so you don’t have to put as much in. It also helps your lovely veg cook quicker.