Raising the Awareness of Leaking Toilets

Posted: Wednesday 29th November 2017

Leaky loos are one of the most common causes of unexpected high water use for consumers in the UK.

When a toilet is leaking, water dribbles away down the back of the pan, which means a leaky loo often goes unnoticed. In the past a leaky loo was easier to identify because it was more obvious with the pipe leaking water through the wall behind the toilet, today it can be more difficult to spot, as the leaks are internal. A single leaking toilet can waste up to 400 litres of water per day, the equivalent to five full bath tubs. Recent research based on 300 toilets found that on average 4.1 % of toilets were found to be leaking. The overall contribution of leaking toilets to the average per capita consumption is between 1.65% and 4.63% (Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK, Waterwise , 2017).

This month SaveWater South East has commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey to get a real understanding of what people know and believe about leaky loos, in order to help raise the awareness of leaky loos, and to help prevent water wastage.

Results from the YouGov survey show that:

● 46% of GB adults would think that a toilet is leaking clean water while 38% would think that both clean water and sewage were leaking when asked where they think their toilet would be leaking from.

● The main reason GB adults would get a leaking toilet fixed is to stop wasting water (37%).

● 42% of those who have had a leaky toilet use a professional to get their toilet fixed.

A leaking toilet most commonly refers to clean water running from the cistern into the pan.

The 19th November is World Toilet Day - a day to raise the awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. SaveWater South East supports the goal of ensuring everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030. Whilst few people in the UK lack sanitation, we acknowledge the need to ensure that sanitation is sustainable and this includes not wasting water via leaking toilets.

Sharon Russell-Verma, Project Manager for SaveWater South East said "People say they would like more information about how they can save water. The aim of this campaign is to increase the awareness of leaking toilets, it highlights just how much water can be wasted every day if you have a leaky loo in your home. It also describes what to look for and the options available in fixing a leaky loo."

Nicci Russell, Managing Director of Waterwise said: "A leaking toilet can waste very large volumes of water in the home and can lead to unnecessarily high bills. This research shows that providing advice and guidance can help reduce water waste. It also shows that communication with customers needs to be ongoing, to help ensure there's enough water for people, the environment and the economy in the face of climate change and population growth. We need to make the water we have go further!"

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April 2021

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