Targeting bad water habits


Thousands of properties on Tyneside have pulled the plug on bad water habits and are saving more than 100,000 litres of water a day.

Northumbrian Water joined forces with Mouchel Group to fit water saving devices to 2,012 homes in Heaton, Wallsend and Whitley Bay.

The water saving scheme forms part of the water company’s water efficiency campaign, ‘BAD HABITS cost the earth’. The initiative, which educates people on the importance of using the amount of water needed, but not wasting this precious resource, is driven by a target set by the company’s ecomonic regulator, Ofwat.

Every domestic property in the North East is encouraged to save at least one litre of water a day – 1.1 million litres in total per day. Northumbrian Water has met the first year’s target, measured from April 1 2010 to March 31 2011. One contributor to the success is the partnership with Mouchel.

Plumbers carried out a survey at each of the properties and identified which water saving devices would be suitable.

The devices include a save-a-flush, tap aerators, shower head, water butt, water saving crystals, bath measure, trigger hose gun, shower timer and tap washer. Householders were also given water efficiency information and water saving tips.

Ursula Trolan, Northumbrian Water’s water efficiency co-ordinator, said: “By working with our customers in a variety of ways, we have been able to meet our water efficiency target this year. It is amazing how much water can be saved by making small changes to our daily routine. Turning the tap off when you brush your teeth can save around 13 litres of water every time!

“The Mouchel project has been very successful and the 2,012 homes will each save an average of 50 litres of water every day.

“We supply the region with around 800 million litres of water every day. By saving water, we also save energy as every drop of tap water is treated twice – once before it reaches customers’ taps and once before it is returned safely to the environment.”

As part of its BAD HABITS cost the earth campaign, Northumbrian Water has also educated around 18,000 primary school children, across the region, on the importance of using water and energy wisely through the power of theatre.

The play ‘Little Green Riding Hood’ has been performed by production company, Fame Factory Spotlight, in more than 90 schools, so far, and is the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ but with a focus on water efficiency.

Customers can also request a free water saving kit, worth £20, which will save them up to £60 on utility bills per year and up to 95 litres of water per day. The kits and other water saving products and advice are available by logging nto

For further information contact Cara Hall on 0191 301 6720.

Water and energy saving tips

• Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth – use a glass of water to rinse your mouth – save 13 litres every time.

• Shower rather than bath – save 10 litres every time.

• Take shorter showers – save 7 litres every time.

• Fill a basin when washing your face or shaving rather than letting the tap run – save 5 litres every time.

• Use a bowl when hand washing dishes – save 7 litres every time.

• Repair dripping taps – save 9 litres.

• Ensure washing machines have a full load – save 8 litres every wash.

• Ensure dishwashers have a full load – save 2 litres every wash.

• Use a bowl when washing food – save 3 litres every time.

• Use water resourcefully in the garden – use a watering can – save 4 litres every time.

• Report water leaks on 0800 393 084 – this is a 24 hour leakline.

• Work out how much carbon is produced by the processes used to treat tap water supplied to your home and¬†wastewater taken away from your home by using our carbon calculator - ¬†

• Consider having a water meter fitted – most customers reduce the amount of water and energy they use and reduce their water bill – to find out more log onto

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