Improving your water efficiency

Posted 9 September 2015 by Keith Osborne

There are various water saving initiatives that can be introduced to reduce your bills and environmental impact

Imagine filling up the bath or the toilet cistern with Perrier or Volvic bottled water? Every day, most of us wash ourselves and flush the toilet using fresh drinking water, which then has to be filtered and decontaminated, adding to ever increasing water bills.

There are various water saving initiatives that can be introduced to reduce your bills and environmental impact at the same time, and in this article we will explore one or two of the main options available.

On average, we use 150 litres of water every day and that figure is only expected to rise in the next decade, but there are some simple steps you can take to minimise your consumption.​

It is important to have a change in thinking about water usage and to identify where wastage is occurring. For example, washing fruit or vegetables under a running tap instead of a bowl, or having a perpetually running tap while brushing teeth are both ways that money and water are lost every day.

As a rule of thumb, a five-minute shower uses one third the amount of water that a bath does, so one way to dramatically reduce your water consumption is to have a hot bath as a special treat only now and then.

Give all your taps a health check, as by replacing a washer on a tap you could save up to 15 litres a day - a dripping tap can cost you up to one tenth of your water usage every 24 hours.

If you are a keen gardener, don't spend money on mains tap water to irrigate your garden, instead recycle rain water (an abundant resource in Britain) with a garden water butt - the result will be a green lawn and a low water bill in August.

Grey water systems are becoming increasingly popular with environmentally concerned homeowners. A system installed into a home will collect waste water from showers, sinks, washing machines and other appliances, treat it and recycle it so that it can be used for flushing toilets, watering lawns and washing clothes. If you are interested in adding one of these systems to your home the Environment Agency can give you free advice on how to do it.

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