There are approximately 60 million people living in the UK, using on average 150 litres of water per day for washing, cooking and drinking. Improvements in lifestyle and new technologies within the domestic environment mean we use 55% more water than we did 25 years ago, with half of this being used within the bathroom environment.

As climate change takes a greater hold on the environment, we are constantly being asked to use water wisely.

The BMA has put together a ‘top twenty’ of helpful hints and tips to help you use less water and save money. The less water you use, the less you pay and even better, the less you pay for heating hot water.

Today’s modern bathroom equipment has been designed to use less water – so the ultimate in saving water is to change that old water guzzling bathroom suite with an ultra modern one, that will enhance your lifestyle, help the environment and will actually increase the value of your home – what are you waiting for!


  • Did you know when you brush your teeth under running water you can use as much as 10 litres of water per minute. The British Dental Health Foundation suggests that, to maintain oral hygiene, you spend 5 minutes a day cleaning your teeth– if you leave the tap running for all that time you use 18,250 litres per year. Using a tumbler, instead of running the tap water for rinsing can save 9 litres of water per minute, that’s 16,425 litres of water per person, saved during 12 months. Across the nation that’s 960 billion litres of water saved during 1 year. See
  • Fix that dripping tap – for every tap that is constantly dripping around 90 litres of water is wasted every week, that's 4,680 litres wasted every year.
  • Did you know that on average you go to the loo 5 times a day - as much as 10,950 litres of water can be wasted per person over a one year period. Today’s modern toilets flush on less than 6 litres of water, older ones can flush as much as 12 litres of water – that’s a 50% saving – change that loo today!
  • Did you know that for every bath you take you use a minimum of 100 litres of water? Install a new bath made from acrylic and the water will stay warmer longer – no need to keep topping up with hot water!
  • Taking a shower instead of a bath will save around 40% of the water that you use.
  • An average thermostatic shower uses 9 litres of water per minute. The average person spends 7 minutes in the shower, using 63 litres of water. If you reduce the time you spend by 1 minute you could save a total of 3,285 litres over the year.
  • Installing a modern, dual flush toilet, with a split flush button will give you the choice of pressing the smaller button for a 4 litre flush (ideal for liquid waste) or the larger button for more substantial waste. Four times out of five you only need to use the smaller button, giving you an average saving of 3 litres per flush and a huge saving of 9 litres if your toilet is more than 25 years old!
  • Don’t overfill the bath. You can save water and energy by not over filling it.
  • Put the plug in when washing hands or shaving in a basin, rather than leaving the tap running. On average, basin taps deliver 8 litres of water a minute. In normal use a basin will take 4 litres of water, that’s a saving of 50%.
  • Many of us use the toilet as a waste bin – the BMA has heard of people throwing make-up tissues, the cast off contents of their hair-brush, captured spiders an even dead goldfish down the loo. To save unnecessary waste of water, wrap and throw them away in a suitable bin.
  • Fit new washers in cisterns that are overflowing.
  • Install press taps in cloakroom basins. Most people only use the basin in cloakrooms for rinsing hands.
  • When cleaning the bathroom, turn the tap on only to rinse the product, rinse the cloth in the basin – with the plug in!
  • Insulate all exposed water pipes. Dead leg of water (the water that remains in the pipe once the delivery mechanism has been turned off) can cause damage if the pipes burst.
  • When planning your bathroom keep these ‘dead-legs’ in your hot-water supply to a minimum. If you have to run the basin or bath taps or the shower until the cooled water is removed and the hot water arrives, you can run off more water than is actually used.
  • Know where your stop taps are located. If a pipe bursts, you can waste copious amounts of water, and cause untold damage to the home.
  • Consider fitting a water meter. It will help you to be more conscious about using water and save you money!
  • Use bath water to water garden plants and the lawn especially in hot dry summers.
  • Increasingly becoming more popular, why not consider fitting a domestic urinal for the men in your home. These can flush with just two litres of water and if fitted in all British homes, we would save almost 300 billion litres of water per year.
  • We don’t want to return to the practices of three generations ago - no flushing toilets, communal privy, squares of news papers and the old tin bath, so let’s make sure we're efficient with the water we have now and use it wisely so that we can continue to enjoy modern bathrooms.