Everyday Actions

There are many ways you can improve the health of your local river, without even leaving your home! We have included a few below:


Water Friendly Homes


  • Check that household appliances are connected to the foul sewer, not the surface water drain.
  • Ensure household oil storage is in good condition, with an up-to-date inspection record.
  • Ensure septic tanks or private sewage treatment plants are well maintained and working effectively.
  • Put sanitary waste, cotton buds, wipes and other litter in the bin, not down the toilet. These can cause sewer systems to block and sewage to back up into our rivers.
  • Take waste oil and chemicals such as white spirit to a municipal recycling facility: don’t pour them down the sink or outside drains as these may enter rivers during heavy rain
  • Use kitchen, bathroom and car cleaning products that cause less harm to the environment, such as phosphate-free laundry detergents, and use as little as possible.
  • Save water in your garden by choosing plants that tolerate dry conditions. To help lawns through dry periods, don’t cut them too short. Collect rain in a water-butt, water at the beginning or end of the day, mulch plants, and use watering cans where possible instead of sprinklers or hosepipes,
  • Purchase low energy and low water use appliances.
  • Save water in your home by installing a ‘hippo’ or ‘save-a-flush’ in toilet cisterns, install a low-flush toilet, and/or put flow regulators on your taps and showers. Run dishwashers or washing machines with a full load on economy setting and boil the minimum amount of water needed in kettles or saucepans. Turn off the tap when brushing teeth and take short showers rather than baths. Wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under the running tap – and use the remainder on plants. Hand wash cars.
  • Ensure extensions or conservatories have their roof water draining into a soakaway or sustainable drainage system and are not connected to the combined sewer.
  • Ensure that any off-road parking or patio around the house use permeable materials so rain can soak into the soil.
  • Do not buy, plant, or release Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS). You can access the most up to date advice about how to control INNS and dispose of them responsibly through the GB Non Native Species Secretariat Website.