Sometimes I think people forget that water is a precious commodity, without access to clean water we would die. Think of all those people in the world who don't have any clean water, all the diseases they risk catching through drinking dirty water. Think of all those people who have to walk miles carrying their buckets of water back to their humble little houses. All we have to do is turn a tap and it's there instantly. We take it fior granted and we shouldn't.
Years ago I remember using water willy nilly, it felt like it was free, but of course it wasn't, we paid for it through our household rates. Nowadays most people have a choice how they pay. Whether to continue to pay the set amount according to the rateable value of the house, or to change to a water meter. For me as a single householder, the best option was to get a water meter fitted. My bill went down considerably, now it is in my best interests to be very frugal with my water usage, because I am paying for every drop.
There are some properties which are not suitable for meters, if you live in a block of flats for instance, or if access to the property is difficult. If you are a single occupant and you are unable to have a meter, there is a lower tariff that you can go on. Your water company won't offer it, you have to ask for it. Some people are afraid to go onto a meter because they think it's going to increase their bills, especially if they live in a house with several other family members. It is not necessarily the case, because you become more aware of how you use it, and can make simple and common sense adjustments to your lifestyle, which will help to reduce your bill.
Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, a man from Anglian Water was coming to check out how I use my water, and help me to cut down my usage by fitting some bits and bobs. Ian the friendly plumber came and did the biz. First of all he checked for leaks, there were none, then he checked my meter and took a reading. He put the information into his computer gadget and was amazed that I had used only £300's worth of water in five years since the meter was fitted. That was the first of several surprises I had for him. He joked that I could probably tell him how to save water. I said follow me.
We then moved to the downstairs toilet. It's got an old fashioned cistern high up on the wall, it works perfectly. I decided there was no point in him climbing up there to fit a gadget inside to convert it into a dual flush. I mostly flush this with rain water, with the ocassional scrub and flush when it needs cleaning.
Next to the kitchen, here Ian is fitting a new insert into the tap. This mixes air into the water and it comes out in a spray. You don't need to turn the tap on so far, because it comes out a lot faster giving the impression that far more water is coming out. I've always wanted one of these, I thought sprays were for posh houses and public toilets, ha ha.
Next was the bathroom, Ian was amazed that I hadn't let my bath water down the plug hole, and was using it to flush the toilet. I explained that I couldn't have a shower and pointed to where the edge of the bath wasn't sealed against the wall, and besides, I don't like showers anyway. He said judging by the amount of water that was in the bath (recent bath), and the fact that I am not a frequent bather, I hadn't used any more water than I would have done by showering every day. That was good news for me. I always knew that my fortnightly bath didn't cost any more than a daily shower, in terms of amount of water used. I'm glad it has been confirmed. So I will carry on as I am, having a wash in the sink in between baths.
I thought it would be a good idea to have the dual flush converter fitted into this cistern, as this is the toilet I use most. I am hoping that my morning solids will disappear down the pan on the short flush, thus saving 50% of water each day. It takes Ian less than a minute to fit it.
Ian rather sheepishly said that he would have to flush the toilet several times to test it, he apologised for wasting water, ha ha. There you are it works perfectly. I already have one of those plastic bottle water savers in there, and by using the short flush it will save me more water, and more money.
There were two other free gadgets on offer, but I didn't need either of them. There is an adapter which can be fitted to the shower which gives a constant 7.6 litres of water per minute, that sounds like a lot to me. I can wash my whole body in that much, in the sink. You'd have to be quick to take a shower in that time. And there is a free digital shower timer, which I also don't need.
Ian is off now, to his next appointment. I think he enjoyed his visit, he did say that I was the most interesting person he had come across. I was chuffed. I thought it was funny that he called me an Eco Warrior. Thanks Ian, you made my day.
He left me with this gift, no it's not chocolates, more's the pity, ha ha. Inside are two sachets of water storing gel. You mix it in with compost in your pots, containers and hanging baskets. It swells to absorb more than 400 times it's own weight in water, thus reducing the frequency of watering. There are also a couple of rain mats, which you put in the bottom of a container or basket. They hold the water so it doesn't run out of the bottom, then you only have to water every 7 - 10 days. Sounds good, watering pots is such a chore in the summer.
Anyway, I am quite chuffed with my freebies supplied by Anglian Water, and the nice young man who came to fit them. Here is a little bit more information about the scheme. I don't know if any other water authorities are offering the same service, you will need to check with your supplier.
or you can ring free 08009755 567
This is not a promotional post, I am not endorsing this service for money or gifts. I sincerely believe that we should all be a little more carefull with our water usage, then there will be enough to go around.