Reducing your Bathrooms Environmental Impact – Water
Although 70% of the planet is covered in water, it still is a precious resource that we must protect. It’s important to use it wisely, not just for environmental matters but also the cost to you as bills continue to rise. Although in the UK we do have prolonged periods of rain, we can still suffer droughts during the summer months, which makes it all the more important to ensure you don’t waste water in the home and reuse it where possible
Bathroom use accounts for the largest percentage of water use in the home, so if you’re looking to save water, this is the best place to start. It’s an area everyone in the household will be involved in so everyone can ensure they save water. There are a number of simple fixes which should see you losing less water and ultimately saving money. Its a win win.
Most of the water use in the bathroom comes from the toilet, it equates for around 30% in your whole home.
There are a couple of things you can do to reduce water waste from flushing your toilet.
Water Efficient Toilets
Most new toilets have duel flushing options, giving you a choice of how much water is flushed away depending on the use, compare this to the old style toilet you can save 7-9 litres of water a day.
You can also use a Cistern Displacement Device (CDD), which you install in your toilet. The CDD displaces round 1 litre of water every time you flush, saving you up to 5000 litres per year. The CDD is available free from most water suppliers and they are easy to install.
Keep an eye out for any leaks, you can check for slow leaks by adding a few drops of food colouring to your cistern. Wait and see if any coloured water leaks out in between flushes. If you detect a leak, its best to call a plumber to fix the problem. Although there will be a charge, you will be saving water, thus saving money.
Although it can be nice to relax and unwind in a bath, doing so uses more water than a shower. If you regularly have a bath, look at cutting down and opting for a quick shower instead. Also try not to fill your bath up full, to save water.
Instead of letting all that bath water drain away, add it to your water butt to water your garden. Even with bubble bath in, it’s diluted enough to be re used on your garden. You can add a low cost greywater diversion system to your home plumbing, to collect the water for you to reuse. This saves you traipsing buckets through your home.
Greywater systems can be added to collect and treat water showers, baths and wash basins, it can then be used in your garden or even for flushing your toilet. These systems can be added to new builds or existing buildings and can have an impact on your water bills once installed. It can be cost effective after an initial outlay.
Showers are the affordable option and are better for the environment than taking a bath. Most homes now have a shower fitted, with many fitting shower enclosures over a bath. They take less energy to heat, reducing your energy bill and use less water reducing your water bill.
Using water saving showerheads, will save you even more water. Aerated showerheads reduce the amount of water used by add air into the water when it comes through the head, maintaining the pressure and producing a steady even spray.
The time spent in the shower will also have an impact on water use. Currently we spend longer in the shower than we need to as a nation with longer showers on the rise. The best way to ensure you keep the time down is to set a timer. There are many schemes running to encourage people to save water by limiting the time they spend in the shower.
Quite a lot of water is wasted from using bathroom sinks, more than people are aware of however by following the simple tips below you can save a large amount of water over the course of a week.
Washing your Hands
When you wash your hands, switch off the tap whilst you’re lathering up, rather than leaving it running wasting water.
Brushing your teeth
The same applies to brushing your teeth, on switch the tap on when you need the water before and after. Do not leave the tap running whilst you’re brushing your teeth.
A dripping tap wastes a lot of water, normally they can be easily fixed by tightening a washer inside the tap. Sometimes the washer may need replacing or there might be a more serious problem. Unless you are an expert its best to call a plumber to fix the problem, it will be more cost effective in the long term.