Only 6% of Brits ask their plumber for water saving advice, with people more likely to ask friends and family (18%) or social media channels (13%) and the majority (40%) seeking advice from their water company.

A new survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS), found that 38% of Brits do not actively look for water saving advice, despite almost a quarter (24%) admitting they have no idea how much water they use.

The average UK household uses 350l of water per day, but people estimate their family use just 157l on average – an underestimation of 55%.

When it comes to bad water habits:

  • 29% admit they don’t reuse water when cooking or preparing food
  • 22% leave the tap running whilst brushing their teeth
  • 13% are guilty of having a bath followed by a shower
  • 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 50l per wash with older machines using even more than this. Over 80% underestimated this amount, assuming 18l 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 90l of water. The average time the tap is left running whilst brushing teeth is 54 seconds, which could be wasting nearly 12l of water in the process.

Julie Spinks, Managing Director of WRAS, said: “It’s important that plumbers and other water industry professionals actively offer advice to clients on water saving. 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.   

“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 Water Saving Week (29 April – 3 May), we’re keen to raise awareness of how everyone – plumbers, consumers and manufacturers – can play a part in saving water.”