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26 October 23

Money down the drain: Every Litre Losts Matters

Due to leaks within the home, the nation could be wasting £697 million on water bills each year, and 900 million litres of clean drinking water every day, the equivalent to filling Wembley Stadium.   

An independent nationwide survey commissioned by Affinity Water found the majority of Brits (55%) don't know how to check their toilet or water tank for leaks, which are the biggest water loss culprits in the home. 

  • 1 in 5 people leave home leaks for 4 weeks or more before getting them fixed.  
  • 83% of plumbers agree that homeowners think leaks will just go away. 
  • 70% of plumbers say people who don’t contact them about a leak right away don’t think it’s that bad – and then it gets worse. 
  • 59% of plumbers recognise that people are worried about how much a plumbing fix might cost them. 

Due to leaks within the home, the nation could be wasting £697 million on water bills each year, and 900 million litres of clean drinking water every day. This is equivalent to filling Wembley Stadium or supplying water to another one million people a week.

Home leaks can cause extensive costly damage to the home, and the water lost impacts rivers and streams in water stressed areas. Affinity Water, the nation’s largest water-only supplier, has reduced its network leaks by 15.8% in the last three years exceeding its target of 14%. Every litre lost matters, so it is now on a mission to help the nation identify home leaks and understand when to call in the experts to fix them.   

An independent nationwide survey commissioned by Affinity Water, reveals over two thirds (68%) of the nation have had a leak in their home. But, the majority of Brits (55%) don’t know how to check their toilet or tanks for leaks, which are the culprits for the biggest water loss.  

One in five people leave home leaks for 4 weeks or more before getting them fixed. Almost one third (32%) of those with a leak have put off fixing it due to how much they think it will cost to repair them. While 33% had other home repair jobs they deemed more critical, and 28% didn’t know a reliable plumber to ask for help.   

A separate independent poll of 250 plumbers found the top three home leaks’ plumbers tend to are pipes, toilets, and sink taps, and they fix 192 home leaks each on average, every year. The survey revealed that 93% of tradespeople agree that often a leak will get worse over time, while 83% of homeowners think leaks will just go away.  

The poll revealed that 7 in 10 plumbers say people who don’t contact them about a leak right away don’t think it’s that bad – and then it gets worse. 88% of plumbers have had to repair a leak which a customer has tried to repair themselves but couldn’t, with 83% of those saying the customer made the leak worse.  

WaterWise data indicates a leak within the home could cost each household an extra £308.78 a year.  To save water, save money and leave more water in the environment, Affinity Water has teamed up with Sarah Beeny to encourage the nation to identify leaks within the home and understand when it’s time to call in the experts to fix them.  

James Curtis, Head of Leakage, Affinity Water explains: “Reducing leakage across our network is extremely important and critical in helping us to leave more water in the environment. We are working tirelessly to find and fix leaks across our network, and working with Government and the industry on how we can make the wider water infrastructure better. While we continue to take care of this, everyone can play their part to save water, save money on their bills, and together leave more water in the environment. We encourage everyone to find and fix their leaking taps, toilets, and pipes in their homes.”   

Sarah Beeny, renowned property expert and TV presenter, said: “Drips from a tap or the cistern on a loo don’t feel like much, but they all add up. The nation is wasting 900 million litres of clean water due to home leaks every day. That’s enough to supply water to one million people for a week. Every litre wasted matters. From leaky loos and faulty tanks to past their prime pipes, we can take small simple steps, which all add up to make a big difference to the volume of clean water currently being wasted. Let’s all work together to save this precious resource by taking on the leaks that can also cause damage in a home. Protect your home, your bank account, and protect your environment – it’s a win, win, win.”   Affinity Water’s Top Five Tips on how to identify leaks in the home and when to call in the experts:  

  1. To identify a leak in the home, look out for damp patches, changes in water pressure, limescale build up, and changes to your plaster or wallpaper.  
  2. If you have a water meter, turn off all water using appliances in the home, and check the meter to see if it is still moving. If the meter is moving, you may have a leak.  
  3. Listen as well as look for signs when identifying a hidden leak. Noisy pipework, whether that’s in your tank or around your home, can be a sign. Try listening at night when your home is quiet.  
  4. If you suspect a leak in your home, or have identified one, it’s important to get it sorted quickly. Don’t try fix it yourself if you don’t know how. Call in a plumber to make sure it’s fixed properly.  
  5. If the leak is big, turn off the internal stop tap, which will stop water running within your home and prevent any further damage until the plumber arrives. 

To understand your water footprint and find out how you can uncover leaks in your home visit affinitywater.co.uk/homeleaks  

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