Leaky loos costing East of England’s households £49 million a year
29 November 2022
Anglian Water has found that its customers could be losing an average of as much as £49 million a year due to leaking toilets.
The water company is encouraging customers to take three simple steps to check if their loo is unknowingly leaking. These steps could save each of its customers up to £246 a year off their water bills, as well as helping the environment by saving precious water resources.
Three simple steps to check if you have a leaky loo:
1. Wipe the back of the bowl with toilet paper so it’s dry – don't flush 2. After 30 minutes, place a new, dry sheet of tissue across the back of the bowl 3. Come back in a few hours. If the paper’s wet or torn, you have a leaky loo
On average, a leaky loo wastes between 215 and 400 litres of clean drinking water every day and is equivalent to having a couple of extra people in the home using water (WaterWise). That’s up to an average of an extra £246 a year on a metered water bill that could be saved by getting the leak fixed.
Despite recent rainfall, the East of England is still in a drought with reservoir levels, underground water stores and rivers all still below average for this time of year, so as well as vital cost savings for customers, fixing a leaky loo means more water saved for the environment too.
Pete Holland, Anglian Water’s Director of Customer and Wholesale Services said: “Having a water meter remains the best way of keeping bills affordable as customers only pay for what they use. But leaks in the home means water, and money, down the drain. We know this year is going to be tough for our customers, as the cost-of-living increases for us all.
“Although pipes inside the property are the responsibility of the homeowner, we’re here for our customers if they need support. Once a leak in the home is fixed, we'll also give money back to cover the costs of the excess water used as a result of the leak through our leakage allowance.”
Anglian Water customer, Hannah Holloway-Vine, was very grateful after a letter from Anglian Water prompted her to check her home for leaks and saved her from potentially paying out hundreds of pounds caused by a leaky loo.
The Huntingdon resident was contacted by Anglian Water in December 2021 after her latest water meter reading showed her water usage had significantly increased.
Hannah said: “I thought my toilet had a bit of a trickle but I hadn’t realised how much additional water this was using up. I was really worried that my next bill would be almost un-payable as the new reading showed my monthly water bill would more than double, from £33 to £69 per month.”
The letter from Anglian Water prompted Hannah to contact her landlord to see if a plumber could come and take a look, who quickly spotted a leak in the push-button toilet. The water intake valve was faulty causing the toilet to leak. Intake valves are found on all toilets and should shut off automatically once the tank has re-filled after flushing. But in the case of Ms Holloway-Vine’s toilet, a leak on the valve meant it was constantly trying to top itself up.
Hannah added: “As soon as the leak was fixed I called Anglian Water who were really helpful and reduced my monthly payments back to the original amount there and then. They even gave me a refund to cover the cost of extra water the leak had caused me to use. I am grateful to all at Anglian Water for handling the situation so quickly for me.”
Pete added: “We live in the driest part of the country, so it makes sense to save water all the time. Despite having enough clean water pipes to stretch to Sydney and back, right now we’re driving down leakage in our networks to world leading low levels and half as many leaks as any other water company. In fact, around 50% of leaks reported to us are leaking toilets in customers’ homes so we’d encourage everyone to take these three simple steps to make sure water, and money, aren’t going to waste.”
Anglian Water also recently announced its largest-ever package of support for customers struggling with the cost-of-living with £135m worth of help available to an estimated 330,000 customers over the next year – the company’s largest ever support package and builds on a £65 million package announced for 2022.
The water company encourages any customers who are struggling to contact them via their website, Twitter or Facebook accounts or calling their Extra Care Team directly on 0800 169 3630.