Love your loo with Northumbrian Water

This Valentine’s Day we’re asking you to ‘love your loo’, so we’ve teamed up with Northumbrian Water to explain just what that means, and how it can reduce water waste, keep your bills affordable and prevent unpleasant blockages.

Hi, my name is Sarah and have worked for Northumbrian water for 26 years.

As a member of the water efficiency team, my goal is to help customers with their water use.

My mantra is ‘use what you need but please don’t waste it’.

There is one area I am particularly passionate about, and that is toilets!

Sarah Bowerman is Water Efficiency Analyst at Northumbrian Water Group

We’re fortunate in this country that we all have access to clean fresh drinking water and toilets.

But how many of us take this for granted? When was the last time you took time to check your toilet and make sure it’s all in working order?

About one in 20 toilets leak - and although it doesn’t always affect the quality of the flush, it can potentially waste a lot of water, and money too.

Leaky loos waste an average of 215 litres of water every day, and some waste as much as 400 litres – as much as five baths, or three times as much water as a person usually uses in the UK.

This extra water use not only adds to your bill, but carries with it a hidden carbon footprint from the energy and materials used to transform river and groundwater into clean drinking water and pump it to your home.

So, show your loo some love this Valentine’s Day and take two minutes to check your toilet for leaks.:

Listen – Can you hear the water constantly filing the cistern?
Look –  Is water continually dripping or running down the back of the pan (from the cistern)?
Does the button on the top of your cistern stick down after you have flushed?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you need to get your toilet checked and fixed by an approved plumber – if your water is supplied by Northumbrian Water, we’ll even do this for free.

In 2023, we repaired over 4000 leaky loos for our customers and are sending our teams out every day.

If you live elsewhere, contact your water company for advice or find your nearest WaterSafe-approved plumber.

And if you’re not sure if the toilet is leaking, you can stick a ‘leaky loo strip’ or piece of toilet paper to the back of the pan and leave it for several hours, or overnight.  If the paper is wet or torn – you have a leak.

Aside from leaks, another way to reduce the amount of water you use is to make sure you know the difference between the long and short flush on your dual flush toilet. Using the short flush can save two litres of water each time, which quickly adds up.

Finally, have you heard of the three Ps?

These three Ps are the only things you should flush – pee, poo and paper. Please put anything else in the bin and be aware that even ‘flushable’ toilet wipes cause sewage blockages. A blocked sewer can affect lots of people by stopping sewage draining from homes, causing smells and even flooding.

While we’re on the subject of blockages, another common error we see is cooking fat being poured down the drain.  It’s easy to forget how quickly it cools and solidifies, but this is another major cause of blocked sewers – especially when the fat hardens around wet wipes and other waste, causing huge fatbergs.

We all need to use our toilet on a daily basis, so please take care of them and love your loo this Valentine’s Day.

For more help and advice, visit WaterSafe’s leaky loo page, the Northumbrian Water website, or your local water company.

Our Partners

WaterSafe Approved Contractors' Scheme Operators

Anglian WaterAssociation of Plumbing & Heating ContractorsCIPHESevern TrentSNIPEFWIAPS

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