Brits underestimate their household water usage by more than half

  • One in four admit they have no idea how much water they use at home

  • More than half of UK homes have a water meter installed
  • WRAS is promoting water efficiency this Water Saving Week (29 April – 3 May)

A quarter of Brits (24%)admit they have no idea how much water they use, according to a new study.

The average UK household uses 350 litres per day, but people estimate their family uses just 157 litres - an underestimation of 55%.

The survey, commissioned by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS), found that when it comes to bad water habits:

10% wash their car with a hose pipe rather than a bucket

Washing machines are one of the biggest culprits of water usage, using approximately 50 litres per wash with older machines using even more than this. Over 80% underestimated this amount, assuming 18 litres per load, on average.

When it comes to the bathroom, the average time Brits spend in the shower is seven minutes 30 seconds, which could use up to 90 litres of water. The average time we leave the tap running whilst brushing our teeth is 54 seconds, which could be wasting nearly 12 litres of water in the process.

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “Although more than half(53%) of UK homes now have a water meter, research shows that people are still not giving a huge amount of thought to their water usage at home, even if it could save them money and help the environment. There is still a long way to go in convincing most households to be more conscious of their water consumption.

“Many water companies give away water efficiency products to customers for free, yet 47% don’t have any kind of water saving device at home. Products such as toilet leak detection strips, shower timers and cistern displacement devices can save litres of valuable water, and WRAS supports the use of compliant plumbing products that use technology to automatically reduce water and energy consumption, without people even noticing a difference.”

“UK water regulations aim to keep our water supply safe and prevent wastage, so this WaterSaving Week, we’re keen to raise awareness of how everyone – plumbers,consumers and manufacturers - can play a part in saving water.”

Visit www.waterwise.org.uk/save-water/ for top tips on how to save water.