Save Water & Money At Home

Posted on: 04 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Easy water saving advice to help households save money and make a positive impact on the planet.

Climate change is affecting weather patterns which have in turn affected water availability here in Britain. The worst drought in 100 years in the south east of England in 2006 was followed by one of the wettest summers on record in 2007.

We use more water per person than our Northern European neighbours, an average of 130 to 160 litres per day. Yet London is drier than Istanbul, and the south east of England has less water available per person than the Sudan or Syria.

Now is the time to take a serious look at how water is being used in the home. While going greener may sound daunting, small, simple changes can make a tremendous impact over time.

By following these simple steps a family of four could save up to 170,000 litres of water each year. For customers on a meter this amounts to around £250 in savings on water bills annually. So it's well worth watching your water consumption.


  • Start by giving the taps around the house a check up. Replacing worn washers can quickly fix any leaking taps, which waste on average 25 litres of water per day.
  • Ensure your water pipes and external taps are lagged in time for the cold winter months. If they burst they will waste a great deal of water.


  • Use water efficient appliances. Putting a brick or other water saving device in the toilet's cistern can save up to two litres of water with every flush. As the average person visits the toilet eight times a day, a family of four can save 23,000 litres of water each year. You may see a Save-a-Flush device called a 'hippo' or even a 'bog hog'.
  • Taking a five minute shower instead of a bath can save 45 litres every day. Remember however that power showers can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes.
  • Turning off the tap while cleaning teeth can save as much as five litres of water with each brushing. Use the plug in the washbasin when shaving or washing hands too.


  • Keep cool water in the fridge rather than running the tap to get a cold drink.
  • Boil only the amount of water you need in the kettle or saucepans.
  • Don't use dishwashers or washing machines half full. Wait until you have a full load before switching on.
  • Use a bowl instead of leaving the tap on when washing up.


  • Try washing fruit, vegetables and even dishes in a bowl instead of leaving the tap running, and then use the left over water on household plants.
  • A £40 investment in a water butt and watering can could be well worth the cost. Many water companies offer water butts at reduced prices. Check with the water provider before visiting the DIY store. Instead of watering the garden with a hosepipe for two hours each week use the collected rain water and target the plants that need it most. It could save up to 30,000 litres or £80 annually.
  • You can read more water saving advice for the garden here.


  • Instead of using a hosepipe to wash the family cars, fill a couple of buckets, preferably from the newly acquired water butt. Most cars can be washed and rinsed using only three or four buckets instead of a running hosepipe. Over the year it could save as much as 20,000 litres or £50.

Between 30 and 40 per cent of a household's energy bill is spent on heating water for baths, showers and washing clothes or dishes. By cutting water usage through these easy steps families should see a drop in their energy bill as well, not to mention reducing their environmental impact.

Web Links

More water saving tips are available at the Consumer Council for Water website:

Do you have any water or money saving tips? You can share them in the 50connect forum.

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