28th October 2020

On 28th October, I attended the Autumn Lecture of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, titled “Use less water or waste less water?” The evening was hosted by Richard Soper CBE, Chair of the Technical and Education Committee of the Plumbers Company. Richard introduced the evening by reminding everyone of the key aims of the Plumbers Company in encouraging excellence in plumbing and raising the profile of key future plumbing developments. He then introduced the first speaker, Julie Spinks, Managing Director of the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme.


Julie presented some interesting statistics on water use in the home and illustrated how most of the general public were unaware of how much water they were actually using. She highlighted four key areas that were critical to reducing future water use in the home, the use of complaint fittings, choosing products that used less water, certified installation by approved plumbers, and repairing leaking fittings.

The second speaker was Yvonne Orgill, Managing Director of the Unified Water Label. Yvonne explained how the Unified Water Label together with 3 calculators available to the public in November can help consumers identify the water, energy and carbon efficiency of products. These tools were already being used by developers and architects to improve the water efficiency of new homes.

However, there was also the challenge to retrofit more water efficient devices in existing homes, for example fitting the 6 litre tap in place of the 13 litre tap in 27 million homes across the UK could save billions of litres of water, but consumer buy in was required to drive retrofit projects.

Finally, the evening concluded with the traditional lively question and answer session.

Valerie Owen Le Vaillant OBE
BSc BArch RIBA Dip TP MRTPI MRICS ACIArb FRSA CEnv
Master, Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.