Charity warns paddling pools wasting billions of litres of water

Nearly 4 billion litres of water was wasted over the weekend as Brits fill up paddling pools to keep cool in the current heatwave, according to an environmental charity.

Analysis published by Hubbub claims more than a third of us own a paddling pool and 27% were planning on using it last weekend (7-8 July).

According to the charity, the average paddling pool uses 530 litres, which is more than three times the total daily amount of water usually used by one person.

Hubbub are warning that the resulting pressure on water supplies, along with people taking longer showers and using hosepipes more, could lead to some households across the country experiencing low water pressure as water companies battle to keep up with demand.

And it’s not just the kids who’ll be having a dip either, according to the charity.

Just over half of parents with children under 16 plan to use a paddling pool this weekend, but so do 16% of parents with children aged over 16 and 23% of non-parents.

Hubbub have offered the following tips for people to save water but still stay cool and entertained as the heatwave continues:

  • Stop before the top. Think about how deep you fill your pool. One third of us fill it right to the top, but kids will have just as much fun splashing around in a few inches of water.
  • Pool your pool. 33% of us have a giant/family pool and 43% have one that could fit three or more children. If your pool has room to spare, why not invite over family or friends and make it a pool party.
  • Don’t drain every day. Three-quarters of people empty their paddling pool every day. If you cover your pool and use a water sterilising tablet, the water will be fine to use again tomorrow (but do make sure little ones cannot get to the pool unattended).
  • Give the water a second use. 43% of people just empty the pool onto the lawn and 23% tip the water down the drain. Brown lawns will recover, so why not use it to water the plants or give the dog or car a wash first?
  • Find a balance – if you’re using the pool, can you use less water elsewhere in the house by taking quicker showers or skipping washing the car?

Hubbub chief executive, Trewin Restorik, said: ‘It’s astonishing how much water it takes to fill a super-sized pool just to use for a day. As well as being a huge drain on water supplies they can add to water bills and take hours to fill. No-one wants to be a killjoy – it’s really hot and we’re all looking for ways to keep cool and have fun in the sun. There are lots of ways to do that whilst using a bit less of one our most precious resources and we’ll share these on social media through the heatwave using #tapchat.’

Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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