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Facts about waste water

Water Waste Facts

Water is essential to keep us all alive, yet bucketloads are wasted by homes and businesses every day. Leaks and inefficient use mean that globally about 30% of water is wasted – the equivalent of around 9.5 trillion litres. That’s enough water to fill somewhere in the region of 64 billion bathtubs.

Lots of this wasted water includes sewage and other liquids that need treatment before disposal. Effective management of waste water helps minimise the potential negative environmental impact of contamination and pollution. Around one third of people live in areas affected by water shortages too, so preserving this precious resource is important.

To get a clear idea of how much liquid is wasted around the world we’ve pooled together some key facts about waste water. See where and why water goes to waste with these water waste facts.

What causes water waste?

There are many causes of water waste by businesses, homes, and nature. Sewage is a big reason for water wastage across the world, which must be treated before it re-enters our waterways. Another more natural cause is stormwater runoff, which is when rainfall washes into our waterways and carries oil, grease, and debris with it.

Agriculture uses about 70% of surface water supplies to feed livestock and grow crops. The industry generates large volumes of waste water and negatively affects the environment as pesticides and fertilisers can wash off crops and contaminate water sources. Manufacturing, food production, mining, clothing, healthcare, and cleaning companies all produce high levels of industrial waste water too.

Inefficient water systems, leaks, and blockages in businesses and homes generate water waste that’s often avoidable. Small actions at home soon add up, such as long showers, leaving taps running, and half-full dishwasher and washing machine loads. If billions of people don’t take care to preserve water usage it can create oceans of waste.

Interesting facts about water waste

Did you know that 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water? That might seem like there’s plenty to go around but only 2% of water in the world is fresh – and over half of this is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. Sadly, the fresh water available isn’t shared equally among people across the planet and plenty is wasted.

Here are some interesting facts about water waste:

  • Around 5% of water in the world is salt water
  • Nearly a third of household water is used for showers and baths
  • About one quarter of clean water in homes is used to flush toilets
  • Just one toilet flush can get rid of about 13 litres of water
  • A leak with a rate of one drop per second can waste more than 10,000 litres of water a year if it’s not fixed
  • Leaky pipes in homes across the UK lead to losses of 3 billion litres of water annually
  • Of all the water that enters our homes about 95% is eventually poured down the drain
  • Belgium is the country with the highest daily consumption of water in the world
  • In the UK, the average person uses 150 litres of water every day
  • Cooking and preparing food are the main sources of wasting water in UK homes
running tap.

Facts about water bottle waste 

The use of water is also a big source of plastic waste, as trillions of plastic water bottles are used around the world. One of the most important facts about plastic water bottle waste is that the plastic material takes hundreds of years to break down, so the bottles should always be reused and recycled.

These are some more facts about plastic water bottle waste:

  • Around 13 billion plastic bottles are used in the UK each year – many of these are water bottles
  • About 90% of the cost of a water bottle is for the plastic bottle
  • Every second 1,500 plastic bottles are thrown away worldwide
  • Each minute about one million plastic drink bottles are bought around the world
  • In the USA around 50 billion plastic water bottles are purchased each year
  • The average American uses 217 bottles of water per year
  • Bottled water is incredibly popular in Italy where 75% of people regularly buy and drink it
  • In the USA bottled water is the most popular beverage according to sales data
  • Used plastic water bottles take 450 years to decompose
Explore more plastic waste facts 

Water waste statistics

Statistics on water waste vary between countries and industries due to their different uses. Surface water covers about 70% of the planet, which includes all the water in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Proper management is vital to ensure all waste water is treated after use so it’s safe when released back into these waterways.

Unfortunately, lots of waste water harms the environment as it’s not treated or disposed of safely. Get an idea of the incredible volumes generated with these water waste statistics:

  • 8 trillion litres of water are wasted in homes around the world each year
  • Around the world, 63% of waste water is collected
  • This means over a third of global waste water could directly damage the environment if untreated and released
  • Of all the waste water collected about 84% is treated
  • Industrial water usage is responsible for 22% of global water usage
  • Half of all landscape water goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff because of over-watering
  • About 10% of global food production involves over-pumping groundwater
  • Growing a single almond uses 5 litres of water
  • Industry and commerce in the UK use an excessive 1,300 million cubic metres of water each year
  • A worrying 3 billion people live in water-scare conditions
waste next to a river.

How should I get rid 
of waste water?

At home, you can pour waste water down the drain if it contains no chemicals or solids. Your local water company should collect and treat it. Businesses that create high volumes of waste water that’s collected on-site may need commercial waste collection services to manage it safely.

At Business Waste we provide liquid waste removal services for organisations anywhere in the UK. This includes the use of IBC containers to store any type of wastewater on your site before it’s removed and disposed of responsibly. It could be contaminated water waste from manufacturing, cleaning, food production, or other activities.

Find out more and a free quote for liquid waste collection anywhere in the UK today. Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online and one of our friendly experts can help get the best solution for your needs.

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