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How you can conserve water

Here are some ways in which you can help protect the environment and the quality of London's water.

  • Cooking oil - don't pour it down the drain, soak up the excess and put in the bin
  • Cigarette butts - don't drop in the street or put down the drain, stub out and put in the bin
  • Hot fat and lard - leave to harden and put in the bin; don't pour down the drain
  • Litter - take home or put in the bin; don't drop in the street or put down the drain
  • Motor oil - take to the council tip for recycling; don't pour down the drain
  • Paint and chemicals - take to the council tip for disposal or recycling; don't pour down the drain
  • Personal waste (sanitary towels, tampons, condoms/femidoms, razors, cotton buds, bandages, disposable nappies) - don't flush down the toilet

Saving water at home, in the garden or at work takes very little effort, but makes a surprisingly big difference. In general, this involves simply cutting out the amount of water we are wasting through our day-to-day habits.

Did you know, for instance, that turning the taps off when you brush your teeth, can save up to 5 litres a minute? If the entire adult population of England and Wales did likewise, this could save a total of 180 mega litres a day, enough to supply nearly 500,000 houses.

The following water-saving tips will help you do your bit and conserve our most precious resource.

  • Don’t put the washing machine on unless you’ve got a full load. One full load uses less water than two half loads.
  • Water your garden with a watering can. It uses 4 litres of water whereas a sprinkler uses 540 litres each hour!
  • A water butt in your garden can collect rainwater that you can use to water your lawn and borders.
  • If you shower instead of taking baths, then you can save up to 400 litres of water per week.
  • Energy efficient dishwashers save water and electricity. ‘A’-rated machines are most economical.
  • Get dripping taps fixed – they can waste up to 90 litres of water a week.
  • Keep a glass, bottle or jug of water in your fridge, rather than running your tap until it runs cool.
  • Use the minimum amount of water required when you boil water in saucepans and kettles – this will save energy and water.