Friday, 18 March 2016

Water Saving Week - 21st - 25th March 2016

With the Easter holidays almost upon us again, most of us will be hoping for some warm weather to get started on the season's gardening or out and about with the family. Whatever your plans, two of the UK's leading water associations, Waterwise and WaterSafe are urging us to make simple changes to reduce our water consumption as part of Water Saving Week. While we're all aware of the importance of saving water during a summer heatwave, the campaign, which runs from 21-25 March 2016 is aiming to raise awareness of the need for everyone to use water wisely whatever the weather and wherever the location to protect the future of this precious resource.

Why bother?

Our ever-growing population, changing lifestyles and the increasing erratic weather patterns are all putting more pressure on the UK's water supply, meaning that now more than ever before it's important to take steps to reduce our water usage. With approximately 93% of overall water usage occurring within domestic properties, it makes sense that the front-line against water wastage should begin in our very own homes. What's more, for those of us on water meters and paying for the amount of water we use, taking care when using water makes great financial sense too, saving us money on our water and energy bills. So why not begin following our top tips to see how much you could save simply by making efforts to save water?

In the bathroom

  • Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth - Can save over 6 litres of water per minute! It's the most quoted water-saving tip for a reason!
  • Purchase a water efficient toilet - These have split flush buttons which give the user a choice of how much water to use. They typically use about 4-6 litres of water as opposed to the 13 litres per flush used by an old style toilet.
  • Get a cistern displacement device (CDD) - Once placed in the cistern, these displace around 1 litre of water every time you flush. As well as being easy to install, CDDs are available FREE from most water companies and could save up to 5000 litres of water per year!
  • Spend less time in the shower - With 85% of UK homes containing a shower, a joint effort to be more water efficient when using them could have a huge impact on our country's water wastage. For example, if we all made an effort to time our showers we'd save enough water to supply 1 million homes every day!
  • Switch your showerhead - Changing to an aerated or low flow showerhead will allow you to reduce the flow of your shower whilst maintaining pressure, helping to reduce the amount of water you use overall.
  • Run shallower baths - We all know that showers (with the exception of power showers) use less water than baths, but if you have to have a soak, running your bath just an inch shorter than usual could save around 5 litres of water. Leftover bathwater can be recycled too, to water your houseplants or garden.
In the kitchen

  • Load the dishwasher fully every time - This is particularly important considering the kitchen tap and dishwasher account for around 8-14% of water used in the home. Your eco/economy settings can also help you to save money on your water and energy bills.
  • Avoid pre-rinsing dishes - Dishwasher detergent is very effective, so as long as you take care to scrape plates thoroughly before loading they should come out perfectly clean without the need to pre-rinse them.
  • Buy a washing up bowl or plug - This can reduce wastage by 50%. Why not use the water collected to wash your carrots and spuds in?
  • Add a tap aerator - Like water efficient showerheads, these can help you to save water by reducing the water flow.
  • Choose a Waterwise washing machine - Look for the Waterwise ranking when choosing a machine - those using less than 7.5 litres per kg are good models to go for. Be sure to read the manual to find out which cycles are the most water efficient.
Plumbers belonging to the WaterSafe scheme will also be able to offer you simple tips on how to be more water efficient around your home. Click on the link to find quality WaterSafe plumber in your local area.

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