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Water friendly homes

Use water wisely for water friendly homes

Water friendly homes is all about better water quality locally, which means that rivers and streams can support a greater variety and abundance of wildlife.

The cleaner the water, the more pollution sensitive invertebrates (or river insects/bugs/critters) can survive. More invertebrates can provide more food for fish and birds, who will then provide food for larger birds and mammals.

Like all ecosystem’s rivers exist in a careful balance, the cleaner and more natural they are the better the balance.

Cleaner rivers are also much more attractive. If you are lucky enough to live near a brook, stream, or river, then you know that the cleaner the water is, the nicer it is to live near.

By starting to look after our local rivers and streams at home and in our gardens, we can make sure we help to make these special areas a better place for wildlife and people. Here are our top tips;

The 3Ps- only the three pees (pee, poo, and paper) should be going down the toilet. Never flush nappies, wipes, or period products down the toilet. They can cause blockages in your home and sewers, and can enter your local streams, rivers, and the sea in high rainfall events.

Only rain down the drain- many drains lead directly to your local streams and rivers so never pour unwanted paint, chemicals, or oils down sinks, drains, or roadside surface water drains. Washing your car releases chemicals, rubber, and hydrocarbons. So always wash your car in a car wash, or over grass or gravel.

Misconnections- your bath, shower, sinks, washing machine, and dishwasher should all be connected to the foul sewer, not the surface water drain. If any of them are connected to a surface water drain then the waste water could be draining straight into your local stream or river. Misconnections are illegal, even if you didn’t install the appliance, you are responsible for putting it right.

Septic tanks- treat your septic tank right. Have it emptied and serviced at least once a year and always use septic tank friendly products which will be kind to the bacteria that keep the septic tank working. Follow the 3Ps, never pour oils and fats down the sink, and make sure your rainwater isn’t draining into the tank. Septic tanks shouldn’t smell, so if yours does, it’s time to call in the experts! Routine maintenance is necessary. Neglecting your septic tanks means that you could have problems selling your house later down the line.

You can also read our Water Friendly Homes guide for further information, visit connectright.org.uk for information on misconnections, or visit waterwise.org.uk for water saving advice.