With a heat health warning issued for this weekend, Severn Trent is encouraging people to consider how they use water at home.

With the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advising that temperatures could hit 30 degrees this weekend, Severn Trent is reminding people to be mindful of their water use whilst enjoying the warmer weather. 

Sophie Evans-Young, Customer Demand Lead at Severn Trent said: “We tend to think about Britain as a country that gets more than its share of rain, but water is a precious resource and with temperatures expected to climb in the coming days, we want to remind customers to use water wisely.

“It’s natural when the weather gets warmer to get paddling pools out and using sprinklers, hosepipes and pressure washers to keep gardens and cars looking lovely. However, it’s water-intensive activities such as these that can cause a sudden spike in demand.”

While the Midlands saw some wet weather through April and May, February was the driest since 1993, we only saw 55% of rainfall we would expect in May and 2022 was the hottest year on record. It looks likely that hotter and drier conditions will become a staple of our climate.

Severn Trent is working on long-term solutions to address these growing pressures and ensure a continued supply of water both now and into the future.

Sophie added: “Pressures from climate change and population growth mean we all need to think about how we use water all year-round, not just during the summer. We managed to avoid a hosepipe ban last year thanks to our year-round water management plan and the fantastic support of our customers, who helped ensure there was plenty of water for everyone to take care of life’s essentials.”

Some of Sophie’s top tips for saving water are:

  • Get yourself a water butt – it’s a great way to save water when it rains, and you can use the water for your garden when it’s dry
  • When watering plants, use a watering can rather than a hosepipe  
  • A sprinkler can use as much as 1,000 litres of drinking water in just one hour – which is more than a family of four would normally use in a whole day! – and thirsty lawns will quickly bounce back once it starts raining again      
  • Think about planting water efficient plants such as Blanket flower (Gaillardia), Sea holly (Eryngium amethystinum) or Euphorbia
  • Clean your car with a bucket or with leftover water from the paddling pool, rather than a hosepipe or pressure washer, it’ll save loads of water and help keep your bills down  
  • Ask your children to water the plants with leftover water from their paddling pool – a fun activity to keep them entertained whilst also saving money and water  
  • If the dog needs a bath, think about using the water from the paddling pool
  • Water the plants earlier or later in the day when it’s cooler and the water is less likely to evaporate
  • Customers could also save money on their utility bills by making a few small changes to the ways that they use water around the house.

As well as saving water, people could also save money on their utility bills just by making a few small changes to the ways that they use water at home. An average family of four could see savings of up to £1,300 a year by:

  • Cutting daily shower times from 10 to 5 minutes - £700 a year
  • Switching off taps when brushing their teeth - £100 a year
  • Fixing a leaky toilet - £300 a year
  • Changing to a low-flow shower head - £100 a year
  • Cutting out two dishwasher runs per week by only running with full loads - £75 a year
  • Cutting out two washing machine runs per week by only running with full loads - £50 a year
  • Dripping tap (2 drips/sec) - £15 a year
  • Constantly dripping taps - £90 a year

They may see an additional saving by switching to a water meter free of charge, as they only pay for what they use, which could generate savings vs a flat-rate bill.

Customers can also send a video of any suspected leaking taps, toilets or showers to Severn Trent. An engineer will review the video and we’ll make a free repair if we can or direct the customer to a WaterSafe-accredited plumber in the local area.