Summer water saving tips

In the hottest months of the year, we want to help you use water wisely.

We've seen an increase in water usage recently, with both the warm weather and people spending more time at home.

 

There are lots of ways to enjoy the sunshine and water this summer and with small changes, we encourage you to help save water, making a big difference to our valuable natural resource. Every drop counts!

Why is water worth saving?

While it feels like it rains every day, it can take up to six weeks to turn the captured rainwater into water that is safe to drink and use.

 

Our growing population and climate change means demand for water is going up, putting pressure on supplies. Since lockdown began in March 2020 we're all using up to 29 litres more water a day - that adds up to about 20 Olympic sized swimming pools of water every day across our region.

 

It's easy for you to use less water each day by following our tips below.

Here are our top tips for saving water this summer:
Gardening

  • Water your plants, fruit and veg first thing in morning before sun gets too high in the sky. Not only does this minimise the risk of burning any leaves, but it also means you are wasting less water too.
  • Never leave your sprinkler* on overnight. It is counter-productive, because when it's wet and dark, it will encourage snails and slugs to come out and they will eat your plants. A spinkler left running use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.
  • Use a straw mulch on top of your plants as it retains moisture and stops the soil drying out quickly. This can be bought from a garden centre.
  • Don't water your grass. It has the magic power of going to sleep when it becomes very dry, unlike most other plants and it will come alive when moisture levels increase. Rain water is also much more nutritious than tap water as it contains nitrogen that boosts growth. Plus, over watering encourages weed growth.
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose pipe to water your plants and hanging baskets. A hose can use enough water to fill twelve baths every hour.
  • When the kids have finished playing in the paddling pool, reuse it to water your flowerbeds.
  • Install a water butt in your garden or use drip trays to catch water and use the stored rainwater in your garden

 

*Please note, if you do use a sprinkler, you must be on a water meter. If you don't have a water meter you can apply for one here.

 

Also, if you spot a leak in the street, please help us to fix it quickly by reporting it to us here.

Outdoors

  • Don’t fill your paddling pool to the top and you could save 30 litres of water per inch saved.
  • When you’ve finished playing in the paddling pool, why not use the remaining water to water your garden?
  • Check the weather and schedule your car wash for a day after it rains. Washing your car on the grass helps put the excess water to good use and try using a bucket instead of a hose.
  • Having a BBQ? Wait until everyone’s had their seconds (or thirds!) and fill up the dishwasher. Did you know a full dishwasher on eco-setting uses less water than washing up by hand?!
  • Dish the dirt – there’s no need to pre-rinse any plates, simply scrape and place in the dishwasher.
  • If you’re out and about, please help us spot leaks. Warm weather can cause pipe damage. To save water in your area, report any leaks you spot so that they can be fixed quickly - visit www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk/leaks or call 0800 526 337.
Refresh

  • Remember to keep hydrated! Clean, clear and great tasting tap water helps to keep your body refreshed and healthy during those hot summer days. Here’s more tips on keeping hydrated
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you have cool and refreshing water to hand, saving you running the tap. Or simply keep your freezer topped up with ice-cubes!
  • Finished with that drink? Pop those leftover ice-cubes onto plant pots, indoors or outdoors to give them a refreshing drink too
  • Having a salad? Wash your produce in a bowl of water instead of under running tap water
  • Have a refreshing shower rather than a bath and save 10 litres every time. By also having shorter showers (aim for four minutes per day) – you can save up to 17 litres per day
  • Need to cool down quick? Hold a cold wet towel on your wrists, neck and knees. This helps cool you down without the need to take a shower
  • Or why not keep yourself cool on hot days by filling a spray bottle with water to spritz yourself with. Much more elegant than a hosepipe dance and uses much less water.
  • Enjoying a workout or going for a walk? Make sure you carry a reusable water bottle with you to keep yourself going during your exercise
  • Fixing your house up this summer? Why not also install some water saving devices when you’re working on home improvements.

        Order your free water saving kit here.

  • Check your toilet for leaks. Leaking toilets can waste up to 215 litres of water a day. If it’s leaking, Northumbrian Water can help.
Water Saving Tips

  • Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can save six litres of water. Teaching children too can save around 24 litres of water a day.
  • Stay hydrated by keeping a jug of water in the fridge so you've plenty of cool and refreshing water to hand, without having to keep the tap running.
  • Use a bowl when washing up by hand instead of running the tap. This can save 18 litres of water and use a bowl when washing fruit and vegetables.
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose or sprinkler and water plants in the in the evening or first thing in the morning, as sun and wind can take away moisture.
  • If the paddling pool is out, don't fill it to the top and let it spill over. You could save 30 litres of water for every inch, that's enough water for a family of four to drink in a week! And once you're done, why not use the water from your pool to water your plants?
For more gardening tips, visit our gardening section here
 
There’s plenty of more tips on our website but we’d love to hear your water saving journey this summer. 
 
Share with us online on TwitterFacebook or Instagram 
#everydropcounts
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this so important now?
We’re experiencing some of the hottest months of the year and more of us have been at home using more water than normal.

 

This means there’s been more handwashing, cooking and cleaning in our houses and paddling pools and hosepipe use in our gardens. With the warm weather, all of us also want to stay cool. Many of us aren’t travelling abroad this summer so there’s more of us using water at home too.

 

But if we had so much wet weather before, surely that’s not a problem? Yes, thanks to the rain, we have enough water in our reservoirs and rivers however, to make water safe to drink, it has to go through a treatment process before it arrives at your tap.

 

On average, we treat 630 million litres of water a day. Since lockdown, we’ve been keeping the water flowing but in hot weather, demand soars so we’ve seen high peaks during lockdown.

 

Sprinklers, hosepipes and paddling pools all require extreme large quantities of water. Plus everyone suddenly seems to be wanting to wash their car!

 

So all across the country, water companies are asking everyone to please use water wisely during the lockdown. Please help us to keep the water flowing and save water.

Are we going to run out of water?
Water supplies in the region remain at healthy levels for this time of year.

 

We have no plans in place to implement any drought measures such as hosepipe bans, but it is good practice for everyone to use water wisely.

Are we using more water? Should I be worried?
We’ve seen an increase in demand for water recently, with both the warm weather and the coronavirus pandemic resulting in people spending more time at home, and using more water.


We’re used to managing demand and dry weather so we’re operating as normal and have tried and tested plans in place. This includes moving water around the network and topping up the network where we can.


However, we would ask our customers to work with us and use water wisely, so that we can continue to manage supplies and keep the water flowing. Customers should continue to keep washing their hands regularly with soap and water to help stop coronavirus spreading.

Doesn’t water just fall from the sky? Did you not capture it over winter?
Our reservoirs capture and store raw rainwater.

 

However, a lot of work goes into turning rainwater into something we can safely drink and use. While our water supplies are at healthy levels, people are using water as quickly as we can treat it and transfer it into our network directly to our customers’ homes.

Why does my water taste different?
To help us manage our supplies and keep water flowing to you, we are moving water around the network.

 

This means that you might be receiving water from a different part of our network than you’re used to, however it is perfectly safe to drink.

How can I help?
You can help by using water wisely.

 

Small changes can make a big difference, from turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or cutting a minute off your morning shower. You should continue to keep washing your hands regularly with soap and water to help stop coronavirus spreading.

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