Leaky Loo’s – why you’re probably not going to read this article….. but should.

On average, leaky loos waste around 215-400 litres of water a day, that’s the equivalent of five bathfulls………every day!! A leaky loo will be costing you money and wasting water. It may not seem a lot, but every drop matters for saving water and helping the planet.

An average household uses 350 litres of water a day, a leaky loo almost doubles the amount of water being used by a household! That’s why it’s such a big deal. We use far too much water per household anyway, so fixing a leaky loo is a very easy way to significantly lower your families carbon footprint.

What’s the big deal about water?

Saving water & water wastage is one of the most challenging topics to discuss, most people have little concept of the environmental impact of water. In the UK we have cheap, readily available water every time we turn a tap on, it’s always there! But little do we know that we really could be facing a crisis if things do not improve.

Although water makes up the majority of the world, there is a very small percentage that can be used for daily consumption. Of that percentage only half of this is available as freshwater. The amount of abstraction of water has now reached unsustainable levels; the demand is outweighing the supply capabilities (simply, there are now too many people and not enough water).

A report from Water UK states that there could be a significant deficit in water availability by the 2040’s.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency has been quoted by the BBC as saying: “in around 20 to 25 years, England would reach the “jaws of death – the point at which, unless we take action to change things, we will not have enough water to supply our needs”.

In 2018, the Environmental Agency stated that If we do not increase water supply, reduce demand and cut down on waste there may be serious water shortages by 2050.  This includes not enough water for people, businesses, farmers, wildlife and the environment.

There is a 25% chance that over the next 30 years a large number of households and businesses will have their water supply cut off because of a severe drought.

There are already areas in England which are classed as being seriously water stressed so placing further pressure on these areas could prove disastrous.  The areas classed as being at a “serious level of water stress” include the east, south east and south of England.

The main stressors are our climate change (including decreased rainfall), increased population size, types of energy creation, land use and waste.

Waterwise states that the water industry produces 1% of the total UK greenhouse gas emissions, however treating water and getting it your tap takes a lot of energy and that produces 5% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the amount of water waste which needs to be retreated, can help reduce our overall carbon footprint.

Water companies and the Government have made enormous commitments to reduce water use and leaks, but there is still a significant contribution to be made by ‘us’ as individuals to be smarter with water at home and not wasting it. Water companies face huge issues in dealing with leaks, some of which can take time, but there are things we can be doing straight away to help the cause.

What is a leaky loo?

A leaky loo is when clean water leaks from the toilet tank into the toilet bowl.

How to recognise a leaky loo?

  • Can you see water running constantly in the toilet?
  • Can you hear the water running? (Noise in the cistern, even when the toilet hasn’t been flushed)
  • Do you have a water meter? Have you noticed your usage has gone up, but you’re not sure why?

There is a simple test you can do:

Step 1: Half an hour after a flush, wipe the back of the pan dry with toilet tissue.

Step 2: Place a new, dry sheet of toilet tissue across the back of the pan.

Step 3: Leave it in place for up to three hours without using the toilet, or overnight.

Step 4: If the paper is wet or torn in the morning – you probably have a leaky loo.

The British Manufacturers Association (BMA) have put together some very useful videos on how to maintain dual flush toilets, how to spot a leak and how to fix one. It could be either your Inlet Valve or your Outlet Valve.

The quickest, simplest way for you to view your bills and manage your account if you’re an Anglian Water customer is to register for MyAccount.

Why is a leaky loo so bad ?

A little dribble may seem like nothing, but research shows that the average leaky loo loses around 215 – 400 litres of clean drinking water a day, equivalent to five full bathtubs or an average family’s total daily water use. If your water is metered, this will double your bill!

Around 400 million litres of water is estimated to leak from UK toilets every day, which is enough water to supply 2.8 million people – the populations of Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Bristol combined. Fixing leaky loos could contribute around 10% of the additional water capacity needed to cope with an extreme drought in England by 2050.

Most modern cisterns are designed to overflow into the pan and a slow but steady flow of this type is the type of leak that can cause a significant waste of water.

Between 5 and 8% of toilets are leaking, mostly dual flush toilets. Fixing one can halve a customers water bill if they pay by meter, but most customers are unaware their toilet is leaking.

Why should you save water and fix a leaky loo?

  • You are supporting your local community
  • Helping to protect your local and wider environment
  • Reduces household water bills if on a water meter
  • Despite the perception it rains a lot, the Anglian Water region receives 1/3 less rainfall than the rest of the UK. Tomorrow’s forecast is fewer raindrops, and more people.
  • Water meters can save you money (Cheaper water bills: should you get a meter water? ) plus they can help you spot leaks.  

How to fix a leaky loo?

If you’re pretty handy, you can find instructions for replacing your flush or fill valve online. You can also find a plumber to pop out and fix the problem for you.

Using an approved plumber is the safest and most reliable way of getting the job done correctly. Any product you or your plumber installs must be compliant with the water fittings regulations and be compatible with your toilet suite.

References

Why is saving water important | Why water conservation matters

What to Do About Leaky Loos

Hundreds of pounds are, unknowingly, being flushed down the drain by homes across Newmarket, the culprit? A leaky loo!