Help for you to save water

Water companies have had a duty to promote the efficient use of water by all their customers since February 1996.

As a minimum we expect all companies to provide information to customers about:

  • the sensible use of water in the home and garden
  • how to conduct a self-audit of household consumption
  • the availability of cistern and other water saving devices
  • the availability of supply pipe leakage detection/repair
  • how to report a leak
  • how to get further information

However, we expect companies in areas of water stress to do more than this minimum level.

Contact your water company on the support they can offer.  Many water companies offer free or discounted water saving devices. The Consumer Council for Water (CCW) also have links direct to companies websites for free water saving stuff.

Most companies can provide advice to their customers either on their website or on leaflets on how to save water. You can also find more useful tips on how to save water on the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCW) and Waterwise websites.

Water saving tips

There are many ways that you can save water around your home. You may find the following tips helpful.

  1. Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables of dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.
  2. Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.
  3. Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  4. Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can us as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.
  5. If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.
  6. Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.
  7. Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.
  8. Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.
  9. Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

If you have a water meter, all of these tips may help you to reduce your water and sewerage bills.

Even if you do not have a meter, using water wisely and cutting down on the amount of hot water you use will lower your gas and electricity bills. It will also reduce the amount of climate-changing greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere.

Using less water will also help reduce the greenhouse gases that are released from collecting, treating and supplying clean water.

You can find more useful tips on how to save water on the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCWater) and Waterwise websites. The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has developed a voluntary labelling scheme to help consumers to make informed choices when purchasing water using products.