Flush with ideas to save this Water Saving Week

This week sees the the fifth annual Water Saving Week – a campaign organised by Waterwise aimed at helping us all to use water more wisely.

With a growing population and climate change putting increasing pressure on our water resources, it’s never been more important for use water wisely – and that’s why we’re delighted to be supporting this year’s campaign.

We’re sponsoring Toilet Tuesday – lifting the lid on the issue of leaky loos and the big impact they have water wastage.

Our water efficiency expert Ana-Maria Millan takes us through some of the simple ways to spot a leaky loo and what to do if you have one.

A leaky toilet might not sound like a big deal, but they can actually waste up to 400 litres of water every day! That’s the equivalent of 700 pints of water, or five full bathtubs. If your home has a water meter, it could also drain your finances by an extra £300 a year.

According to Waterwise, as many as 8% of homes and businesses in the UK have a leaky loo – with 45 million toilets in use, that’s an eye-watering amount going down the pan every day.

Spot the signs

Keep an ear out – if you notice the sound of a constant trickle at the back of the toilet bowl, it’s a sure sign you have a problem.

Look out – sometimes leaks are easy to see, as water may flow continuously down the loo.

Signs of damp if you notice rippling or stains around the base of the toilet, accompanied by dampness, it’s a tell-tale sign that you have a leak.

Sniff out the problem – if you can smell sewage, get the problem looked at immediately. It could indicate that your toilet bowl is leaking and signal that there is a problem with the pipework too.

Tips to check

If you spot any of these signs and suspect you have a leaky loo, there are some simple, quick checks you can do to make sure.

  • Drop some food colouring into your toilet cistern and leave it for a while. If the colouring appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.
  • Alternatively, wipe the back of the bowl dry and place a dry sheet of toilet paper across the back of it. Leave it for a few hours and if the paper is wet or torn when you come back to it, there’s a leak.
  • Some water companies also provide ‘leaky loo strips’, which are placed at the back of the toilet bowl. They change colour if a leak is detected. Contact your water company for more details.

If you have a leak, get in touch with a reputable plumber as soon as possible. You can find a list of accredited plumbers in your area via the WaterSafe UK website.

Homeowners should consider checking their household insurance policy as it may cover the cost of carrying out a repair.

Regardless of whether you own or rent your home, it is also worth contacting your water company, as some will fix a leaking toilet for free. If you rent, always remember to check with your landlord first.

We will be sharing lots more water-saving tips this week across all of our social media channels, so don’t forget to soak up the advice by following the hashtag #watersavingweek