Gareth Jones,
Sustainability Manager

Just how much does a dripping tap cost?

Water is one of those things that most of us take for granted. We turn on the tap and expect clean water to magically appear. One of the best things about tap water is that it is cheap and exceptional value for money. However, because tap water is cheap, we don’t value it. As such we might not consider that a dripping or leaky tap is worth the effort to fix. In this blog post we’ll take a look at just how significant a seemingly insignificant leak can cost in terms of water and money. 

Even if you have a fantastic water efficient tap and excellent water saving habits, at the end of the day a leaky tap is not a water efficient tap. It is important that we all ensure that our internal and external plumbing system is free of leaks. Check for dripping water from your taps as well as leaks around the base and under the sink. A dripping, or leaky, tap will waste water 24/7 and it’s astonishing just how much this can cost.


Let’s take a look at some examples…


A tap dripping once a second will leak 4 litres a day. Over a year that will come to around £5. 

Dripping tap: 4 Litres per day can cost £5 per year

A tap that has a drip that’s breaking more into a stream will leak around 90 litres per day. As you can see that’s a huge jump in volume for what appears to be a relatively small leak. This would cost you around £110 a year. 

Dripping tap: 90 litres per day costs £110 per year

Now we’ll talk about leaks where there is a constant stream of water. Starting with a small stream of water, with a diameter of around 1.5mm, a total of 320 litres will be wasted each day equating to an annual cost of £420. 

Dripping tap: 320 litres per day costs £420 per year

A moderate stream with a 3mm diameter will use around 985 litres a day costing £1,295 a year. 


Dripping tap: 985 litres per day can cost £1,295 per year

Finally a 6mm diameter stream will waste 3,500 litres a day costing a whopping £4,600 a year. 

Dripping tap: 3,500 litres per day can cost £4,600 per year


It’s worth remembering that these figures are for a single leaky tap so if you have lots of leaky taps then the amount of water being wasted could be substantial. In addition, if you have leaks elsewhere in your internal or underground plumbing system or if you are using more water than you need then this will further add to the amount of water and money being wasted. 


What should you do If you have a leaky tap or toilet? 

If you have any leaky taps or toilets you should contact a local plumber to undertake repairs. If you are a customer of Affinity for Business you can also contact us to see how we can assist you with reducing your water consumption. If you are not a customer then contact us for a no obligation quote for your water and wastewater service. Once on board we can work with you to ensure that you understand how you are using water and how you can cut down and save money. 


Water Saving 

Saving water also helps you reduce your carbon footprint since a lot of energy is used to clean water and pump it to your premises as well as pumping it back to the treatment works where additional energy is required to clean it. 


For transparency, the figures above assume an average cost of £0.00336 per litre (£3.36 per m3) and uses daily water loss figures from Cridge (2000). 

For more water saving tips from our Sustainability Manager, Gareth, click here and find out what the eco mode on your dishwasher actually does. 

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