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Summer water saving tips

Tuesday 23rd July 2019 12:00

Woman drinking iced water through a straw

As families across London and the Thames Valley prepare for the upcoming school holidays, Thames Water is encouraging its customers to care for one of nature’s most precious resources while still having fun in the sun.

As the weather heats up and people spend more time at home, rather than work or school, water use can often rocket as paddling pools are filled, garden sprinklers are turned on and cars are washed. During last year’s heatwave, Thames Water pumped an extra 450 million litres of water a day through its pipes to keep up with demand, which soared by around 17 per cent on the hottest days.

Andrew Tucker, water efficiency manager at Thames Water, said: “Increased temperatures mean increased demand for water, which stresses our network’s ability to produce it fast enough and accelerates the draw on rivers, underground aquifers, and the water stored in reservoirs. To make sure everyone can enjoy our most precious resource, now and in the future, we all need to work together to use less water. If we all make small changes, we can make sure there’s enough to go around.”

To save more water, Thames Water engineers have also been working around the clock to reduce the amount being lost through leaks and are currently fixing around 1,400 a week on its own network and the private pipes of customers. Last month, leakage in the Thames Water area hit its lowest level in three years.

Thames Water’s top summer 2019 water saving tips are:

  • Listen to your body and if it’s hot, cool down by holding a cold wet towel on your wrists, neck, knees, insides of your elbows and the tops of your feet, rather than running water or a shower
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and spritz it over your face and body for a quick cool down. This uses way less water than showering or spraying yourself and others with the hosepipe
  • If you need a cool shower, try and keep it short. Showers normally make up around 25 per cent of an average household’s water usage. Simple reductions in shower time can have a massive impact on overall usage. If a family of four reduce their showers by one minute each they’d save 11,648 litres of water a year
  • Storing a jug of tap water in the fridge is a great way to keep it cold and refreshing. Alternatively, pop some ice cubes in your drink which will help lower its temperature. Both are better than leaving the tap running for ages to get some cool water
  • Don’t fill paddling pools to the brim and, when kids and pets have finished playing in them, use the water to give thirsty plants a drink
  • Use a watering can to water plants instead of hoses or sprinklers which use a whole week’s worth of water in just one hour
  • Established lawns will bounce back as soon as it rains again so there’s no need to water them.

Andrew continues: “Using less water at home and reducing leakage means we can leave more for nature in our rivers and reservoirs, and give essential underground sources a chance to recover, reducing the risk of shortages in the future.” For more water saving tips visit