Five Plumbing Issues to Tackle Now to Protect Your Drinking Water and Save Money

WaterSafe, the UK register of approved drinking water contractors, has detailed the top five ways for homeowners to ensure their drinking water stays safe and wholesome at the tap and isn’t wasted through leaks.

Saving water can also save energy and money on metered bills, helping households dealing with the rising cost of living.

WaterSafe recommends always using an approved contractor, who provides the relevant services, for any plumbing work on your property. You can find one on our home page or by clicking the blue box at the right. When the contractor visits, you can ask them to make one or more of the following checks:

  • Check for leaks on your internal pipes and fittings, such as taps and toilets. A dripping tap is easy to spot and could be wasting up to 5,500 litres of water a year.

  • Check for leaks on your water supply pipe, the underground pipe that carries water to a property from the water main in the street. These can be harder to detect. Signs that you have a leak can be a higher than usual water bill, loss of pressure or reduced water flow at your cold kitchen tap, or an area of lush vegetation in your garden – even during a dry spell.

  • Check for lead pipes – often found in older properties built before 1970, as drinking water supplied in lead pipes can be bad for your health. For more advice on keeping your drinking water safe from lead, visit

  • Check that appliances like washing machines and dishwashers are correctly installed to avoid ‘backflow’ contamination – when dirty water from inside an appliance flows backwards into the main water supply.

  • Check the location of your internal stop tap, so your supply can be turned off in the event of a leak or for plumbing maintenance work.

Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, said: “We’re very fortunate in the UK to enjoy safe and wholesome drinking water from our water companies.

“WaterSafe approved contractors are qualified in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Byelaws that help keep it that way – which is why all the water companies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland promote WaterSafe members to their customers.”

Julie added:

“Checking for leaks is more important than ever, to help keep bills down and with water supplies increasingly under strain. Plus, being aware of lead pipes, having correctly installed appliances and knowing where your internal stop tap is will help safeguard your home’s drinking water for years to come.”

To find the right approved contractor for your job and for more advice, from dealing with leaks to replacing lead pipes, please visit WaterSafe’s home page or click the blue box to the right.

Our Partners

WaterSafe Approved Contractors' Scheme Operators

Anglian WaterAssociation of Plumbing & Heating ContractorsCIPHESevern TrentSNIPEFWIAPS

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience with WaterSafe. Some are essential to provide accurate emergency search results and ensure the website is secure. We also use cookies to help us understand how people use the site and to make improvements. Click "Accept All" to enable recommended settings or click "Manage cookies" to adjust your settings. For more details, see our Cookie Policy.