Following the broadcast of the BBC's 'Great Leaky Loo Scandal' report on the Radio 4 programme Costing the Earth on 29th September, the BMA has responded by saying that manufacturers are 'fully committed to continued reduction of wasted water, including from leaking toilets'.
The programme, which was presented by the BBC's Tom Heap, reported that about 400million litres of water leak from UK toilets every day, and that the issue can be blamed on the use of newer drop valve systems in dual-flush toilets, which have largely replaced the use of traditional siphon mechanisms. As the drop valve sits underwater it is more prone debris catching and then causing the mechanism to leak. The programme added that the issue of water waste in toilets can also be blamed on consumers being confused by messaging on dual-flushes that indicates which button does what.
The BMA said that since the programme was recorded, it has been liaising with water companies and manufacturers to better understand the problem, and investigations have shed new light on the issue.
"We can see that a lot of valve failures were on old products. Materials, design, and reliability have since improved, and this is a very positive step. Continuous improvement of products is part of the industry’s lifeblood and will be ongoing," said BMA chief executive Tom Reynolds.
He added that bathroom manufacturers have spearheaded public awareness of water-saving products through the Unified Water Label, and that dual-flush valves have helped to reduce flush volumes significantly. He also emphasised the need for correct installation and preventative maintenance.
“Regulations require fittings to prevent the waste, misuse, and undue consumption of water and reputable manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure this is the case. Compliant products, well installed and maintained, will not leak," he concluded.