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Water wastage is a global issue. We have a split dynamic across the globe, of countries who are blessed with water on tap and those who struggle to find enough to drink. This is a problem that has been ongoing for centuries and it is a harsh reality that we all forget. Water wastage is an ongoing and ever increasing issue in built up countries such as the UK and US, wasting water unnecessarily puts wildlife, agriculture and the planet as a whole at risk. Find out more about the problem with wasting water here.
Lets look at the facts within the UK. We are a small nation though well developed and increasingly privileged compared to many others. We have constant access to water of all kinds and we use it without thought of the consequences because it is so readily available. though we all like to think that we conserve water and are aware, we could all do more! Lets break it down on average:
- Per day the water industry collects, treats and supplies more than 16 Billion litres of water !!!!
- Average household uses 349L Per day- there are around 27.2 million households in the UK so thats 9,423,000,000 daily use in the UK
- Average person uses 142L per day
- 68% of water is used in the bathroom, 22% in the kitchen and 10% outdoors.
The heating of water is accountable for 89% of CO2 emissions through the water sector, emitting 875 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere per household per yer that is the equivalent to a family car driving 1700 miles! That means that in the UK alone we emit 23,625,000,000 kg of CO2 per year, so that’s driving 45,900,000,00 miles in a year!!! Purely through the heating of our water! Water usage is accountable for 6% of CO2 emissions and treatment accounts for the final 11%. It’s a truly scary figure.
As stated the bathroom is responsible for 68% of our water usage. with 25% of our entire water usage coming from the shower, followed closely by the toilet at 22%. On average a toilet flush uses 7.5L of water with the average household flushing the toilet 4,600 times a year, that means per household we flush away 28,00L of water per year (that’s 350 baths) that means across the UK 76,000,000,000L of water is flushed per year. Flushing the toilet is a necessity, there’s no way around it however there are ways to make toilets more efficient and use less water. Currently 42% of homes have toilets that were manufactured before 2001- which means 42% of homes toilets are using far more water per flush than necessary. there are options however!
- A water displacement device can put into the current cistern, this enables the user to save around 2 litres of water.
- Converting to a dual flush cistern
- Replacing the toilet
Having a dual flush can save a person around 7,000 Litres of water per year. Across the whole of the UK it is estimated that 48% of households are in need of improvement. If this is something you wish to discuss, we can help, get in touch!
The shower is the most popular form of bathing in the UK. With our hectic schedules, it far out weighs the bath. Each person in the UK showers away an average of 2 billion litres per year, with the average person having 4.4 showers per week and as the general preference is hot showers this is an even larger contributor to that ridiculously large CO2 figure. So what can we do?
- Reduce shower length time by at least a minute per shower
- Get an Eco shower head!
- Think about converting to gas heated showers if possible- though electric showers are good, you will actually reduce your carbon footprint by 100KG per year by converting to gas.
The Kitchen is responsible for 22% of a households water usage, with many of our daily necessary appliance being in there. It is where we get our food and water, wash up and wash our clothes. All of this has an effect. Washing up for instance! Most people on average wash up by hand, and though this means less electricity being used, with the technological advances washing by hand cannot be compared to a dishwasher, with them on average, using less water, less energy, less soap and providing less CO2 emissions then washing up by hand! which will be brilliant news for everyone who has been begging for a dishwasher since they were in their teens! This is however providing that the dishwasher is full to the max before it is started, therefore not requiring multiple unnecessary cycles to be done.
While on the subject of washing, the next issue falls with washing machines! on average we use our washing machines 4.7 times a week per household with each wash (providing the washing machine is modern) using on average 50 litres of water. So at the end of a week across the UK we have used 6,345,000,000 on washing our clothes. A study was conducted and the results show that despite the recommended setting being 30 for household washes, only a mere 24% of the population opt for this setting, with 70% opting for 40 and 6% sticking to 60. Washing machines pose their on threat to the environment with the chemicals in the different detergents, coupled with the water wastage and the energy used to make it all work. so what can we do?
- Ensure that your washing machine is full before starting a cycle. Most modern washing machines can happily cope with a large load, so fill them up!
- Wash at 30! if your clothes are stained and the concern is that it wont get them out, give them a scrub before putting them in.
- Look for more eco friendly wash powders and liquids.
The kettle! Now we are known as a country for our love of tea, with the average Brit drinking 876 cups of tea a year! that can fill two bath tubs! seriously as a nation we need help and a support group, but moving on. With the amount of tea and coffee we drink and the general need for boiling water, statistically a household will boil their kettle 24 times every week. This doesn’t take into account the time when we are at work and with 40% of the population boiling their kettle more that 5 times in a day.
So we are all addicted to tea or coffee, this isn’t new information and the bonus of this is that we are having this at home and not buying coffee elsewhere using disposable plastic cups so what is the problem? While this is good, it does bring to light that 3 out of 4 people boil the kettle for more than what is required. Kettles are quite large so if you are the only one having a drink yet boiling a whole kettle of water, the energy and water wasted is unnecessary. An immense 32 million litres of water every day are boiled in the UK to just go cold again and as we are all sticklers for a good brew we all know it wont be re-used but go down the sink. what do we do then?
- BOIL WHAT YOU NEED! Really simple this one and easy to remember!
The great British outdoors! there is nothing better than getting the paddling pool out on a hot summers day with a BBQ and everyone round. This year we have had some major ups and downs throughout the summer months. With the week that mirrored monsoon season and the sporadic heatwaves it has really been anyone’s guess and mother nature has done well at confusing the weather reporters! On average 10% of our water usage is done outside, which is the smallest amount and with it being outdoors the heating of water isn’t usually a problem. however water wastage is! Throughout the summer months we use an increased level of water outside. Sprinklers alone use around 1,000 litres of water per hour, so as much fun as they are and how ever good they make our gardens look being mindful of the length of time they are on for is essential.
In the UK we wash our cars on average once a month, washing your car uses between 100 and 300 litres of water a time. 22% of people who was their cars at home have said they use a hose rather then a bucket which just increases the amount of unnecessary water used. That soapy, contaminated water then gets washed down the drains, which is far less than ideal. What should we do then?
- Switch to a bucket! Two buckets of water if needed just don’t us a hose.
- Wash your car on grass, so the water then soaks into the grass, not going down the drainage system, this also re-uses the water to keep your garden healthy. win win!
Last but not least I want to draw your attention to water butts! These simple but effective devices are not given enough credit, their purpose is to collect rain water so it can be re-used. 60% of people have these at their disposal yet only 42% of them use them! By utilising these we are stopping the need for using the hose to water the plants, recycling water at it’s best!
Leaks are a common occurrence and something that we deal with on a daily basis! Most of the leaks we come across have been slowly seeping for months unnoticed and only come to light when an extortionate water bill comes through door. Whether that be a leak underground or a slowly dripping tap. In the UK we lose an average of 3.1 Billion litres of water per day through leakages! That’s a lot of large water bills! But what should you do?
- Get dripping taps fixed sooner rather than later.
- Put a maintenance plan in place with us so we can keep on eye and stop any problems before they start
- if you think you have a problem, give us call, we are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We can survey the line, assess any damages and get them fixed, more often than not we can do this by using no dig techniques to get you up and running with less fuss and mess.
So to sum up we are using too much water and we can do something about it without becoming destitute!
- Update your toilet so it uses less water when flushing
- Have shorted showers that are maybe less hot
- update your shower if possible to gas heated rather than electric
- turn the water off while brushing your teeth
- Fill up your white goods before turning them on
- if washing up by hand use a bowl, don’t just leave the tap running and only run a full bowl if warranted.
- Wash clothes at 30!!
- Only the boil the kettle with water you are going to use!
- Keep an eye on the water you use outside, avoid using the hose as much as possible
- Recycle water as much as possible
- And if you don’t need hot water don’t use it!