Reducing water usage

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • pinnkspinnks Forumite
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    I too had thought of rainwater harvesting but the costs would be prohibitive for the gains - we are only paying £13 per month to Thames Water now, so £160 or so per year. Even if we saved 50% with some sort of harvesting the maths doesn't pan out.

    Our water tank is an old bulk liquid container with metal frame we bought for about £130. It holds 650 litres (the normal cube sized ones are 1,000 litres) and is fed from one roof. We also have a more normal 200 litre water butt on another down pipe. They both ran dry in 2018 but are fine in normal summers. If you decide to go down that route I would suggest an opaque black tank, not the normal translucent white ones as they turn green within a few months unless housed in a shed or something.

    Other than that it seems "living yellow" is the only other way to reduce our usage.

    I do wonder though, whether those resisting a water meter might find they could save money by switching - we certainly did and that was when our annual usage was above 100 m3...
    Wiltshire - 5.25kWp
    3.5kWp: 14 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 4000TL, WSW 40 degrees, June 2013
    1.75kWp: 7 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 1600TL, SSE 45 degrees, March 2014
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    My usage is around 40m3 a year, extrapolated from my last 7 month summer bill. I need to sort out a water butt for my shed run-off where I currently have an ad-hoc arrangement. That was awaiting a new shed roof, but I've discovered repairing might be a better idea given concrete asbestos disposal costs!



    I'm a yellow mellow person, but unfortunately I like, nay need, long soaks after football training and matches although fortunately that's mainly in the autumn and winter. But some of that goes into my toilet cistern using the primitive method of a plastic jug! During the summer I save any water from running the taps for hot and cold and that goes on the garden.



    The issue on the use of grey water is, like solar panels and car charging points, the cost of retro-fitting systems to existing properties. In water stressed areas there should be higher planning standards for recycling grey water, at the very least large water butts for garden and outdoor use and probably more. But everything helps: I'd rather have a better summer flow in my local stream than use water unthinkingly.
  • have you see Acqua tempus to restrict the maximum time in the shower?
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    My actual usage for the year ending Sept 2019 was 4.5m3. (4000 litres, sole occupant)and has been similar for the last ten years or so.
    The original idea was to invest in rainwater harvesting equipment but never got round to it and still use butts and tanks that have been here for years, some plastic some metal. Some filtering is done in the summer but otherwise rainwater straight into a bucket does the trick. Comes down to habit less than five minutes per day.
    Direct debit to Anglian Water is £9pm (£108 pa) and it looks like actual usage is £16 per year and the rest is Daily Charge.
    Apart from using washing up water and a navy shower, and the bucketing it doesn't seem like much of an effort. Too old now to invest for improvements but an IBC tank would be nice.
    Re-reading this makes me think of Hannah Hauxwell in the Yorkshire Dales.lol
  • pinnkspinnks Forumite
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    That's quite amazing but what is particularly interesting is that my 40,000 is costing me £13 per month with Thames Water, whereas your 4,300 is only £4 less - just shows the impact of daily charges when one gets down to those levels!:beer:
    Wiltshire - 5.25kWp
    3.5kWp: 14 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 4000TL, WSW 40 degrees, June 2013
    1.75kWp: 7 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 1600TL, SSE 45 degrees, March 2014
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    Yes Pinks, impressive bills you have....it appears my own rate is SOLOW, but think that is a declining rate (presently 160.37p for water and 218.19p for sewerage) as it is being phased out.
  • Rosco62Rosco62 Forumite
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    We have NOT been meters since 1984, specifically so we don't have to think about leaving the loo full of pee until someone wants a number 2. We don't waste water but could not bear to live like that.

    Same here........my brother in law proudly boasts how much water he hasn't used.......but smells like a pig,he is now single/divorced;)
  • very intelligent this thread
    how about installing shower timers? I have a big problem with my kids; they stay in the shower for ages and we pay a lot for water and bills....
    showers is probably the we have biggest waste of water
  • pinnkspinnks Forumite
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    Education or bribery may encourage the kids to spend less time in the shower just watching the water flow or whatever they do - my son was a bit like that but has mellowed of his own accord in his ever-increasing age!

    I am not sure though that showers are the biggest waste of water. A single bath is something like 180 litres of water whereas a shower probably only pumps about 8 litres a minute down the drain. That would be over 20 minutes in a shower.

    As someone said, toilets are the biggest users, followed probably by baths and then perhaps showers or those who leave the tap gushing while cleaning teeth, before things like washing up or washing machines - not really thought about it at that level of detail but am sure someone has :rotfl:
    Wiltshire - 5.25kWp
    3.5kWp: 14 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 4000TL, WSW 40 degrees, June 2013
    1.75kWp: 7 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 1600TL, SSE 45 degrees, March 2014
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    Wallowing in a bath or spending longer than needed in the shower is almost certainly a psychological thing. Trying to wash away guilt maybe, or trying to be cleaner than clean so to be ahead of others.
    This whole site is about economising... so wasters or prolific users who are not prepared to change and save money should go elsewhere.
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