Water Saving Potential of Compost Toilets in the UK

The Water Saving Potential of Compost Toilets in the UK & Ireland

This information was collected during 2015 for a presentation we were ask to give, and relates to average water consumption for people living in permanent, mains-connected dwellings in the UK. Other areas and styles of living will vary according to differences in direct and indirect water consumption.

Water Use

  • Each person uses 150 litres a day*
  • Embedded/indirect use around 3,400 litres a day**
  • 30-40% of water ‘in the home’ is used as a flush
  • 4% ‘in the home’ is used for drinking
  • UK has less available water per person than most EU countries (esp. SE England)

Water Mis-use

  • Litres of water to produce one car: 375,000
  • % increase in world population by mid 21st century: 25% (9 billion predicted)
  • % increase in drinking water supplied by mid 21st century: 0%
  • % decrease in available agricultural land: >10%
  • Annual water requirement of a nuclear reactor: 1.9 cubic miles

Water Saving Potential

Each person uses an average of 150 litres of water per day directly (ie water that enters the house through the pipes), with 30 - 40% of that using for flushing the toilet.So, you could save: 60 litres per day, which is 420 litres a week, 1,680 litres a month or 20,160 litres a year – per person!

Therefore, a waterless compost toilet provides the potential of saving over 20,000 litres of water per person, per year, and can also provide soil nutrients and humus to feed back to the land, reducing the need for chemical fertilisers and fossil-fuel based additives.

It’s a win-win surely?

* Direct water consumption is water that enters a property though the water pipes for such activities as drinking, flushing toilets, washing, cleaning, watering etc.

** Embedded or Indirect water consumption is water used on your behalf to produce goods and services that you use/purchase. This includes food (water to irrigate, clean, provided to animals & used in the processing - note that meat-based diets use at least 3 times the amount of water to produce the protein as plant-based), power (cooling), manufacturing goods etc.

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