Leaving a dripping tap for just a week can waste roughly 168 litres of water, new data reports, highlighting the impact of delaying repairs to plumbing problems. 

A survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS), revealed that putting off simple plumbing problems such as dripping taps and leaky toilets can cause significant water wastage. 

A total of 27% said they would wait a week to fix a leaky tap, while 22% would wait in excess of four days to fix a toilet leak, which can result in 400 litres of water a day being wasted. 

With nearly half of self build homes including a shower room, and 66.9% including at least one cloakroom, the WRAS findings pinpoint the importance of avoiding bad plumbing and reducing the risks of problems developing in the long term. 

Ensuring you react to plumbing problems can also help to save money and restrict the impact on the environment. Moreover, for self builders and renovators, using greywater recycling or rainwater harvesting – which both generate water for use in the home – can minimise water use and limit waste. 

The Environmental Cost

WRAS reports that around an estimated 400,000 million litres of water leaks from faulty UK toilets each day. This could supply enough water to 2.8 million people – combining the populations of Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. 

Earlier this year the environmental agency warned that England could endure an extreme drought by 2050, and WRAS says that fixing leaky toilets could account for roughly 10% of the additional water capacity needed to cope with this.  

Additional findings from the WRAS survey included:

  • 40% would wait in excess of four days to fix a dripping tap
  • 30% would wait the same amount of time to report a leaky tap 
  • 36% would wait that long to fix banging pipes

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “Four days might not seem like a very long time to wait before fixing a plumbing problem, but this level of delay can lead to huge water wastage, as well as potential damage to the home and increased bills.

“We all have a duty to use water more wisely and consider the impact we have on the environment. When a plumbing problem first arises, a quick call to a local approved plumber can not only give you peace of mind but also help ease the burden on the environment.”

Our Sponsors