"DIY" Water Audit Home



Ref No: OWR 9712 June 2000

front pageOur job at Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is to make sure you have all the water you want, when you want it, whatever the weather, whatever the time of day or year.


We were able to maintain water supplies during the 1995 drought without any restrictions, there was no need for a hosepipe ban. We intend to do the same in future years, whatever the weather. After all this is our job and it's what you pay us to do.


At the same time, we know you would want us to make sure that we don't take anymore water from the environment than we need to. We are firmly committed to water conservation and promoting water efficiency. We continue to make good, sustainable progress on leakage reduction and at the same time provide our customers with advice and where possible, practical assistance to use water wisely.


Our DIY Home Water Audit leaflet shows you how to use water more wisely in your home. It is surprising, but with just a little more thought it is easy to reduce the amount of water we use doing even the simplest tasks.


Download the pdf version of the form



Everyday tasks

We each use 150 litres of clean treated water every day. So, where do we use this?


In a typical home




The bathroom

water wasting   water wise


Bathing and showering
Take a bath
Take a power shower
Take a shower


A bath uses up to 80 litres of water and a shower 35 litres of water.


A power shower (a shower that includes a pump to increase water pressure) uses virtually the same amount of water as a bath. A low volume shower head can save a further 5 litres of water compared to a normal shower.


Flushing the toilet
If it has an old type toilet cistern - up to 13 litres per flush
If it has a modern cistern - 7 - 9 litres per flush
If it has a new low flush model - 6 litres per flush


Over a third of water we supply to you goes down the toilet.


If you have one of the bigger cisterns try placing a device in your cistern to reduce the volume used per flush.


Using the handbasin
Clean your teeth with the tap running
Use a beaker of water to rinse your teeth
Wash your hands with the tap running
Wash your hands with the plug in place


A running tap can use up to 9 litres of water a minute.



The kitchen

water wasting   water wise


Using the washing machine/dishwasher
Run with less than a full load
Always select the correct economy settings

A washing machine uses up to 80 litres of water per cycle whether its full or not, and a dishwasher between 22 and 35 litres per cycle. When replacing consider choosing an ECO "water efficient" model

Washing up
Rinse dishes under a running tap
Use a washing up bowl when washing up
"Save" your washing up


Cleaning vegetables
Wash vegetables under a running tap
Wash vegetables in a bowl of water



The garden

water wasting   water wise


Use a sprinkler excessively
Use a hosepipe with a trigger control
Have fitted a rain water butt
Mulch your plants

A sprinkler uses between 300 - 650 litres of water an hour, that's more than the average household uses in one day. Think about the amount of water a sprinkler uses if left running all night. A hose (15mm) without a nozzle can use up to 1000 litres per hour.



Car washing

water wasting   water wise


Use a hosepipe
Use a hosepipe with trigger control
Use a bucket


Using a hosepipe to wash your car uses the equivalent of 33 buckets of water.




About three quarters of leakage happens on Dwr Cymru's pipes, and about a quarter on pipes owned by households and businesses.


Leaking supply pipes -
Check drives, paths, gardens for unusual wet patches - you may have a leak on your supply pipe (the pipe that joins your house to our water main). An easy test, if you have a water meter is to turn off all the taps and water using appliances and check that the meter does not move.

If you have a problem with your meter contact us on 0800 052 0140.


Dripping taps -
A dripping tap can waste up to 30 litres of water each day. Replace washers on both inside and outside taps as soon as you spot the first drip.


Overflows -
Check all overflows to ensure they are not running unnecessarily.


Stop cock location -
Make sure you know where the stop cock is, so that you can turn the water supply to your property off quickly in the event of an emergency.


Frost protection -
Make sure that all pipework and water tanks, both inside and outside of the house are adequately lagged. Leakage levels increase significantly following freezing weather.


If you would like advice on frost protection please ring our Freephone lagline 0800 281 432 for our advice leaflet "Don't crack up Wrap up".


If you need further advice, or would like us to visit to assist you in carrying out this Water Wise audit, contact us on Freephone 0800 281 432.