The environmental cost of putting off pesky plumbing problems


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November 14, 2019

One in five Brits would wait in excess of four days to fix a leaky loo, wasting up to 400 litres of water per day. New research released reveals that Brits are putting off fixing simple plumbing problems like leaky toilets and dripping taps, which can lead to huge water wastage.

The survey commissioned by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS), found that 27 per cent of Brits would wait over a week to fix a dripping tap - the equivalent of 168 litres of wasted water.
This follows a recent Defra consultation on measures to reduce personal water use, which highlights that our high population density means the available water per person is less than in many Mediterranean countries. It recommends a ‘twin-track’ approach of increasing supply and reducing demand, currently 141 litres per person in England, is needed in order to secure the resilience of water supplies. Plumbing problems
The WRAS survey also found that 22 per cent of Brits would wait in excess of four days to fix a leaky loo which can waste up to 400 litres of water per day.

Around 400 million litres of water are 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 alone could contribute around 10% of the additional water capacity needed to cope with an extreme drought in England by 2050.

40 per cent of the 2,000 respondents surveyed said they would wait in excess of four days to fix a dripping tap, 30 per cent admitted they would wait the same amount of time to report a leaky tap and a 36 per cent would wait that long to fix banging pipes. 

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “Four days might not seem like a very long time to wait before fixing a plumbing problem but this level of delay can lead to huge water wastage, as well as potential damage to the home and increased bills. We all have a duty to use water more wisely and consider the impact we have on the environment. When a plumbing problem first arises, a quick call to a local approved plumber can not only give you peace of mind but also help ease the burden on the environment.”

Visit https://www.watersafe.org.uk/ to find a local approved plumber.

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