During the last decade the topics of sustainability and the environment have been discussed at length, with government’s continually innovating in order to meet strict, energy saving goals. However for the average household, the subject of water waste is often not considered in their efforts to manage their green credentials; particularly as it is so freely available in the Western world. In this guide we look at the biggest water wasters in the home, and find out just how much we take our water for granted.
This entry on our list is a little bit of a controversial one; after all, when do you flush the toilet when you don’t need to? Nevertheless, toilets account for around 30% of a household’s water use, and in the UK alone, around 2 billion litres of fresh water are used each and every day, just through toilets alone (Waterwise 2014).
For the most dedicated to the green cause, you can save some wasted water by flushing less (I’ll leave the details as to when is necessary to your discretion); for the majority however, toilet flushing will remain the same.
The kitchen tap and washing the dishes
Washing up and using the kitchen tap accounts for between 8% and 14% of a household’s water usage (Waterwise 2013).
There has always been debate around whether washing the dishes by hand is more, or less efficient than running them through a dishwasher. However dishwashers are not only more efficient, but are more efficient by a staggering amount.
For those that turn the taps on and then off during their washing up, an average session will use around 75 litres (which, to many will be a surprisingly high amount); however, for those that leave the taps running, they may find that their washing up uses anything up to double that amount.
However in comparison, dishwashers can use as little as 10 litres! This is pretty impressive stuff, and means that washing the dishes by hand, is most definitely a big water waster in the home.
The bathroom sink
The bathroom sink can make for a surprising entry in a list of water wasters, but waste water it does, at least in some households.
If your household leaves the tap running whilst brushing their teeth, in total you could be wasting anything up to 30 litres a day!
The washing machine
Whilst washing the clothes is an unavoidable task for the modern household (disappointingly), there are vast differences between the amounts of water used by some models as compared to others. Generally, washing machines account for around 15% of a household’s water use; and where the less efficient models use 20 litres per kilogram of clothing, the most efficient can use as little as little as 6 litres (Waterwise 2013).