Householder Advice

“I don’t live by the river, so how can I affect it?”

We all use water and create personal and household waste, but there are many small changes that you make at home that can add up to make a big difference for our water environment.


All of the water that flows from our taps is drawn by the water company from the waterways and ground water in our area: this is replenished by rain, but our population and demands put great pressure on what is available.  Therefore it is good to conserve water and not waste it, particularly in the summer when there is less rain. We can all contribute to reducing the demands and stress on the water system so that ground water levels can be maintained and streams and rivers flow better.


Our toilets and sewage systems are built to cope with human waste, but not with the modern materials that many people use for personal hygiene, such as

  •  Wipes
  • Cotton buds
  • Pads of various kinds
  • Dental floss

If these are dropped down the loo, they can block sewage pipes, or else build up into huge masses at the sewage treatment plant.

Similarly, only waste water should be put into our drains and substances containing fat, oil or chemicals should be avoided. Fats block the drains and oils or chemicals pollute our waterways as not all dissolved chemicals can be screened out during water treatment.

Waste of any sort should never be dumped in the countryside, but especially never near any open water, as plastics kill fish, birds and animals and chemicals kill the micro-organisms on which they depend.

By clicking on any of the links below you can find out more:

Reducing phosphorus use in your home: This leaflet will give you top tips to reducing the phosphorous levels that you use at home, ultimately reducing the amount entering our river.

Septic Tank Guidance: If you have a septic tank then this guidance will help you to ensure that you are doing everything that you need to do to protect the environment.

Save Water at Home: Saving water helps the environment in so many ways, Thames Water can provide you with great water saving freebies!

Understanding Misconnections: This short leaflet helps to explain misconnections, how to spot them and what to do if you believe your home is misconnected.

What’s in your backyard?: This is an excellent tool developed by the Environment Agency that provides you with lots of information about a wide range of topics relevant to your local area.