HOUSEHOLDS in Powys are using on average 16 per cent more water than last year, and customers could see their water bills increase as a result.

Consumption data for 2020 has revealed water usage by Welsh Water customers has increased by 25 per cent throughout the year. Welsh Water, which is the only not-for-profit water company in England and Wales, is encouraging the public to adopt water-efficient habits while still washing their hands regularly and following public health guidance.

The increased water usage in the area can be attributed to many factors besides changing habits as a result of the pandemic. As well as increased time spent working from home and home-schooling, the fine weather throughout the spring and summer saw lots of people spending increased time in activities like gardening and enjoying paddling pools and hot tubs. In April, Amazon reported a 4,000 per cent increase in paddling pool sales while eBay reported sales of hot tubs had increased by 1,000 per cent.

In a bid to support customers and help keep bills as low as possible, the company is urging the public to take steps to conserve water in other ways, like wrapping pipes for winter to avoid bursts, fixing leaks, and making small daily changes like turning off the tap while brushing teeth or flushing the loo one less time a day.

Sam James, managing director of household customer services at Welsh Water, said: “Taking steps to be more water efficient can have a real impact on the amount of water a home uses and can bring down the cost of your water bill.

“Small changes to your behaviour, like not leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth or spending one less minute in the shower, really do add up over time. And even while the weather is colder there are lots of opportunities to practice water efficient habits at home.

“Water pipes are particularly prone to freezing and bursting in cold weather, leading to a lot of water being wasted. This is easily preventable by wrapping the pipes ready for the cold.”

The company is also encouraging people to sign up to its online service MyAccount, where Welsh Water customers can view their upcoming payments online and keep track of their bills.

Sam added: “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for all of us and we know many people are facing a tough time financially.

“If anyone is struggling with their water charges, we strongly encourage them to get in touch with us. We have schemes and social tariffs available to help make bills more affordable.

“Importantly, we want people to know that these water-saving steps really do work. Changing your habits can really help conserve water and save money on a water bill, and committing to these longer term can really help keep bills as low as possible.”

For water efficiency tips, support with bills or to register for an online account, visit the Welsh Water website at