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Swindon Town secures impressive water saving home win

Wednesday 9th December 2020 11:00

Thames Water plumbers pitchside at Swindon Town Football Club

Swindon Town Football Club is set to save millions of litres of water a year thanks to a visit by a team of Thames Water engineers who prefer passing to dribbling.

Five water efficiency experts and plumbers recently installed free water saving devices in the County Ground’s bathrooms and dressing rooms, including those used by players like Brett Pitman and Matthew Smith, and the Robins’ fans.

Sixty one urinals which were using 200,000 litres of water a day were altered to automatically flush four times an hour, rather than 15, and only when a motion sensor detects they’ve been used. This means no more unnecessary flushes overnight or when the stadium is empty giving an estimated saving of 60 million litres a year – the equivalent of 24 Olympic swimming pools.

The ground’s 53 toilets were fitted with devices to save more than two pints of water every time they’re flushed, and three leaky loos, which were each losing the same as an average family’s daily use of around 400 litres, were also plugged. All the water saving goals will benefit the environment and see the club save money on its water and energy bills.

Andrew Tucker, Thames Water’s water efficiency manager, said: “It’s brilliant that Swindon Town is leading the way in becoming more water efficient so more can be left in rivers and underground aquifers to support wildlife and protect supplies for future generations. It’s a great result to have helped them ahead of an exciting time when a limited number of fans can hopefully soon return to the County Ground.

“All businesses, whether an office, pub or sports ground, have loos and urinals, and our research shows a third have leaks, while about five per cent of all households have leaky loos too.

“Supporters and the rest of the town can all also do their bit by checking for leaks in their own homes and getting them fixed, while we carry on repairing more than 1,000 a week on our vast network of pipes.” 

Will Fowler from Swindon Town FC said: “Swindon Town are pleased to announce the installation of water saving systems at the County Ground. Water efficiency is something that everyone needs to be aware of and it’s great that we have taken a forward step in saving water. This is an exciting time for the club, with a limited number of fans being granted access to matches and we are glad to be working with Thames Water at this time.”

Thames Water carries out water efficiency visits to fix leaks and fit water saving gadgets for key businesses across its region to help them reduce their water use. Last year, the company carried out around 4,000 visits leading to more than 2,000 litres of water being saved per business, per day. As well as Swindon Town, the company has also carried out water audits at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and The Valley, home to Charlton Athletic, and are due to visit Swindon rivals Oxford United in the coming months.

Leaky loo facts:

A little dribble may seem like nothing, but don’t be fooled. If you’re on a metered bill, a leaky loo can be expensive. Water sector research shows the average leaky-loo loses around 400 litres/day, equivalent to five full bathtubs, or an average family’s total daily water use – doubling their bill if they’re metered.

Leaky loos are usually caused by a faulty flush-valve or fill-valve inside your tank – predominantly on dual-flush WCs. It can happen with any WC brand and type, but most leaky loos are failure in valve seals. These failures can happen on old and new WCs. 

If you’re handy, you can find instructions for replacing your flush or fill-valve online. Getting an approved plumber is usually the safest and surest way of getting the job done correctly.  

Water companies and Waterwise are working with WC manufacturers right now to find a Leaky-Loo solution. Better designs, better materials, better awareness. We’re working to engineer this problem out of existence. 

How to check for a leaky loo:

Wait for 30 minutes after flushing and place a piece of toilet paper at the back of the pan.

Leave it there for up to three hours without using the toilet (it might be best to do this overnight).

If the paper is wet or torn, you have a leaky loo. An average leaky loo of 400 litres a day will completely wet the toilet paper sheet immediately.