How much is your loo costing you?

Written by Charlotte Hitchmough.

I had a bit of a shock when my water bill arrived last month.  I pride myself on being pretty good with water. 

I have a four minute shower with a water efficient shower head, my loos are all dual flush, my kitchen tap has a flow regulator on it.  I run my washing machine on the economy cycle, my dishwasher is 'A' rated for efficiency and I only water the garden with water from the water butt (I have even been known to syphon off the bath water into the water butt so I can use it on the garden*).  So, my water bill telling me that I used more water than the average family of six, was not good, not good at all.

I knew it couldn’t be a leaky loo because my loos looked fine to me.  It turned out I was wrong.  I applied the ‘leaky loo’ sticker to my concealed cistern loo, and put a dye tablet into the other ones, and lo and behold, not one but two leaking loos!  And really, there was nothing to see, the loo looked fine.  But the sticker and tablet showed beyond doubt – constantly seeping water gently flowing from cistern to bowl in a never ending trickle.  What a waste.  Waste of money, waste of water.

A typical leaky loo wastes 2,800 litres a week.  That’s enough to fill 35 baths, and not far short of £300 a year if you are on a water meter.

At the moment Thames Water are fixing leaky loos in the Kennet Valley for free.  All you have to do is call 0800 358 6665 and they will send a plumber to sort it out. For free.

So, check your loo, it could be leaking too. There are free leaky loo stickers and tablets at DIY Rainbows and the Town Council in Marlborough, or you can e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ';document.getElementById('cloak966aa16c2b7ee01627456de4b6db7af4').innerHTML += ''+addy_text966aa16c2b7ee01627456de4b6db7af4+'<\/a>'; and we can pop one in the post for you.  If you find your loo is leaking, tell us or call  0800 358 6665 and Thames Water will get it fixed for free.

Even if you don’t pay for your water on a meter, check your loo and if it is leaking get it fixed for free.  Every drop of water you save will be a drop more in the river this summer.

* Using bath water to water the garden is fine, but make sure you use it on the same day, and some experts recommend not using bath water to irrigate edible produce.


back to 'Columnists'