girl watering plants with watering can

In the hottest months of the year, we want to help you use water wisely.

We've seen an increase in demand for water year on year, with having hotter and drier weather the last few years.


There are lots of ways to enjoy the sunshine by making small changes. We encourage you to help save water, making a big difference to our valuable natural resource. Water's Worth Saving!

Why is water worth saving?

It can take up to six weeks to turn captured rainwater into water that is safe to drink and use. 


Our growing population and climate change means demand for water is going up, putting pressure on supplies.


It's easy for you to use less water each day by following our tips below.


  • Water your plants, fruit and veg with a watering can instead of a hosepipe. Plants drink from the roots so water at the base of the plant rather than watering leaves. This gives your plants a drink but means there is less water going to waste.
  • Never leave your sprinkler* on overnight. It is counter-productive, because when it's wet and dark, it will encourage snails and slugs to come out and they will eat your plants. A sprinkler left running use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour. Instead, try using a watering can early in the morning before the sun is fully risen.
  • Use a straw mulch on top of your plants as it retains moisture and stops the soil drying out quickly. This can be bought from a garden centre.
  • If you are planting new plants to spruce up the garden, choose plants that will flourish with less water. Visit our gardening section to find out what types of plant to look out for.
  • Preparing your lawn for the summer months? Add any lawn treatment when it is due to rain rather than using a hosepipe. Rainwater is also much more nutritious than tap water as it contains nitrogen that boosts growth. Plus, over watering encourages weed growth.
  • Install a water butt in your garden or use drip trays to catch water and use the stored rainwater in your garden.
  • Don’t over-water your lawn as this encourages roots to grow closer to the surface, making the roots sensitive in drought and dry periods and encourages weeds. A lawn may turn brown but will quickly recover in the wetter months.


Please note, if you do use a sprinkler, you must be on a water meter. If you don't have a water meter you can apply for one here.


Also, if you spot a leak in the street, please help us to fix it quickly by reporting it to us here.


  • Check the weather and schedule your car wash for a day after it rains. Washing your car on the grass helps put the excess water to good use and try using a bucket instead of a hose.
  • Grabbing some spring rays for a BBQ? Wait until everyone’s had their seconds (or thirds!) and fill up the dishwasher. A full dishwasher on eco-setting uses less water than washing up by hand!
  • Dish the dirt – there’s no need to pre-rinse any plates, simply scrape and place in the dishwasher.
  • If you’re out and about, please help us spot leaks. Warm weather can cause pipe damage. To save water in your area, report any leaks you spot so that they can be fixed quickly - visit here or call 0800 526 337.

  • Remember to keep hydrated! Clean, clear and great tasting tap water helps to keep your body refreshed and healthy during those warmer days. Here’s more tips on keeping hydrated
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you have cool and refreshing water to hand, saving you running the tap. Or simply keep your freezer topped up with ice-cubes!
  • Finished with that drink? Pop those leftover ice-cubes onto plant pots, indoors or outdoors to give them a refreshing drink too
  • Having a salad or enjoying some fresh spring veg? Wash your produce in a bowl of water instead of under running tap water
  • Have a refreshing shower rather than a bath and save 10 litres every time. By also having shorter showers (aim for four minutes per day) – you can save up to 17 litres per day. Around a fifth of energy (gas and electricity) used in the home is used to heat water so you could save money too.
  • Enjoying a workout or going for a walk? Make sure you carry a reusable water bottle with you to keep yourself going during your exercise.
  • Fixing your house up this summer? Why not also install some water saving devices when you’re working on home improvements.
  • Could a water meter save you money as well as water? A water meter could save you on average £80 a year. Try out our water usage calculator.


Water saving tips

  • Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can save six litres of water. Teaching children too can save around 24 litres of water a day.
  • Stay hydrated by keeping a jug of water in the fridge so you've plenty of cool and refreshing water to hand, without having to keep the tap running.
  • Use a bowl when washing up by hand instead of running the tap. This can save 18 litres of water and use a bowl when washing fruit and vegetables.
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose or sprinkler and water plants in the in the evening or first thing in the morning, as sun and wind can take away moisture.
  • If the paddling pool is out, don't fill it to the top and let it spill over. You could save 30 litres of water for every inch, that's enough water for a family of four to drink in a week! And once you're done, why not use the water from your pool to water your plants?

There’s plenty of more tips on our website but we’d love to hear your water saving journey this spring.


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Why is this so important now?
We’re experiencing some of the hottest months of the year. With the hot weather, all of us also want to stay cool.


This means we're all using a lot more water and we like to use paddling pools and hosepipes in our gardens. 


On average, we treat 470 million litres of water a day. We've been keeping the water flowing but in hot weather, demand soars so we've seen high peaks.


Sprinklers, hosepipes and paddling pools all require extreme large quantities of water. Plus everyone suddenly seems to be wanting to wash their car!


Water companies are asking everyone to please use water wisely. Please help us to keep the water flowing and save water.

Are we going to run out of water?

For customers in Essex and the London Boroughs - the total water levels in Abberton and Hanningfield reservoirs are now lower than normal, due to the prolonged hot weather and the Environment Agency has moved the region into Drought status. We're working hard to make sure we balance maintaining supplies to all our customers while also protecting the environment.


While we’re in this period of prolonged exceptionally dry weather we're asking everyone to be careful about their water use so we can keep the water flowing to all of our customers. 


There are currently no restrictions from doing anything yet. If we all start now and work together we can help to reduce the chance of a temporary usage ban (hosepipe ban) from being implemented.


Doesn’t water just fall from the sky? Did you not capture it over winter?
Our reservoirs capture and store raw rainwater.


However, a lot of work goes into turning rainwater into something we can safely drink and use. During the dry weather, people are using water as quickly as we can treat it and transfer it into our network directly to our customers’ homes.

Why does my water taste different?
To help us manage our supplies and keep water flowing to you, we are moving water around the network.


This means that you might be receiving water from a different part of our network than you’re used to, however it is perfectly safe to drink.

How can I help?
You can help by using water wisely.


Small changes can make a big difference, from turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or cutting a minute off your morning shower.

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