Award-winning comedian delights crowds
as festival makes long-awaited return

Affinity Water supported the Rickmansworth Festival as Platinum Sponsor, bringing a giant bathtub and comedy gig to the fun of the Festival.

The much-loved festival returned to a site along the Grand Union Canal on the 21st and 22nd May after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

Star of stage and national TV, Matt Richardson, headlined the exclusive fun-packed comedy tent and host of BBC Two’s ‘Lightning’ Zoe Lyons compèring and Matt Richardson taking the headline slot on Saturday.

Matt was revealed as the surprise headline act alongside a host of regional acts that featured inside Affinity Water’s comedy tent, with more than 25,000 members of the public enjoying the festival programme throughout the weekend.

Affinity Water also brought along the infamous ‘Tubitha’, a super-size bath tub which is 125 times the size of a normal bath, to promote its water saving campaign.

Its milestone water-saving movement: ‘SOS: Save Our Streams,’ has been coined the UK’s biggest ever water-saving initiative with over 200,000 sign-ups to date. One billion litres of water are proven to have been saved last summer thanks to Affinity Water’s pioneering approach, which empowers people to help protect England’s precious chalk streams by wasting less water in their homes.

Comedy headliner Matt Richardson placed water saving messages at the heart of his set, and thanks to Tubitha and the Affinity Water team, many festival-goers signed up to the campaign at SaveOurStreams.co.uk where they can now gain access to their exact household water usage stats, a free water-saving kit and tailored advice.

Some lucky festival-goers also got their hands on free VIP comedy show tickets as part of an exclusive giveaway for those signing up to the SOS: Save our Streams Campaign ahead of the event.

Mr Wynne of Borehamwood said,

“We had a great day at the Rickmansworth Festival with the comedy show being brilliant! All the comedians excelled, with superb compering by Zoe Lyons. I thought Matt Richardson taking the final slot was hilarious, whilst picking up some more water saving tips to boot! Well done to Affinity Water.”

Matt Richardson, who alongside his stand-up performances has hosted shows such as the Xtra Factor and starred in Nevermind the Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice, said:

“Comedy has such a great power to join people together, especially when we’re using it to talk about serious messages. We had a great time laughing about water use, but we were also able to share the importance of campaigns such as SOS: Save Our Streams, which help us all make a difference. I hope that my show was good fun for everyone that came along, whilst also reminding us how we can each play a part to protect our environment.”

Stuart Ledger, Interim CEO of Affinity Water said:

“We’ve all had a fantastic time at the Rickmansworth Festival. It was wonderful to be able to meet so many new people and talk to them about our hugely successful water saving campaign.”

Matt delighted the audience with his hilarious set, whilst sharing our important messages about the crucial need for water saving at home.

“Thousands of people came along to meet Tubitha for a supersize bath selfie, and with so many more sign ups to our SOS: Save our Streams Campaign as a result, we’re confident we’ll see even less water used in the coming months as people take simple steps to reduce their water use.”

Members of the public are urged to continue taking action and visit SaveOurStreams.co.uk where after answering a few questions about how they use water, can gain access to their exact household water usage stats, a free water-saving kit and expert advice.

Mr Jarvis, Watford said,

“Really enjoyed the comedy show and Felicity Ward teaching the joys of chicken karaoke. I am now helping to save water by using collected rainwater in the garden as opposed to a hosepipe.”

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

We’re making a splash at the
Rickmansworth Festival

We’re really looking forward to the upcoming Rickmansworth Festival on 21-22 May 2022 where we are the Platinum sponsor.

The Festival, now in its 27th instalment, is a celebration of the canals and waterways of the UK, and this means that a flotilla of over 100 colourful canal barges will be moored at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome where the event will be held.

Alongside the array of other music, performing arts, displays and stalls, we’ll be there hosting our exclusive comedy event for SOS competition winners. Celebrity comedians are headlining plus excellent local talent, and a mystery celebrity guest.

There’ll also be lots of fun and games for all the family. You can also come along and get your photo taken in our MASSIVE 10,000 litre bathtub, Tubitha.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be an exciting event.

Find out more: http://www.rwt.org.uk/festival

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

St Albans Cricket Club bowled over
by Affinity Water funding

We’ve just stepped in with funding to buy St Alban’s Cricket Club a ‘Super Sopper’ – a simple, innovative piece of equipment that removes rainwater from pitch covers, so matches can re-start quickly after rain in the new league season, which starts this Saturday 7th May.

As part of Affinity Water’s SOS: Save our Streams campaign, we’re asking you to waste less water and protect the UK’s precious chalk streams after initial statistics showed our customers use 9% more water per person, per day than the national average.

Coined ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef,’ chalk streams, which boast clear water from underground springs, are more endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino.

Over 200,000 people in our region have already signed up to our landmark Affinity Water’s SOS: Save our Streams movement, pledging to reduce the amount of water they use on a daily basis and save these beautiful rivers.

Water that is soaked up by highly absorbent pads on the Super Sopper at St Albans Cricket club will be saved and re-used by groundsman, in drier times, to water plants within the park and on the cricket square itself.

The latest investment at the cricket club will allow the team to safely play matches in wet conditions, whilst also reducing the need to use fresh water from taps and hoses to keep the grounds healthy in the hot summer months.

Matt Howeson, Club Captain St Albans Cricket Club said; “We are very grateful to Affinity Water for the funding we’ve received this summer. We lost several games as a result of waterlogged pitches last year, which was hugely disappointing for everyone involved.

“We are aiming for a double promotion again this summer, so the stakes are high. The Super Sopper will allow us to remove excess water from the playing surface and ultimately allow us to play more matches, whatever the weather. As a club, we are all invested in supporting the wider Save our Streams campaign – we are dependent on our local environment and committed to protecting the natural resources around us, so this is a perfect partnership for us.”

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

Water saving tips this Christmas

Quick top tips

Don’t throw away your vegetable water

Let the dishwasher take the strain

4 Minute Christmas shower playlist

With Christmas on the way adapting individual behaviours in households can contribute to ensuring that the rare chalk streams in the South East remain healthy and allow the flora, fauna and wildlife to flourish.

Affinity Water has come up with six novel water saving tips for its customers over the Christmas period and a ten-track play list to ensure their shower doesn’t last more than four minutes.

On Christmas Eve, save a bit of time and work on the Big Day! Soak the potatoes and other root veg in a pan of water then they’ll be ready to roast when you need to.

But DON’T throw the water away you can use it to cook the sprouts or steam some other veg.

If you have been cooking vegetables and you’ve got a real Christmas tree, you can use the cooled down water to give it a drink.

If you’ve been out walking or shopping in the cold and reach for a hot drink to warm yourself up when you return home, remember you can save water and energy by filing the kettle with just the water you need for that one cup.

Washing up – let the dishwasher take the strain it’s more water efficient. Most dishwashers can efficiently cut through the greasiest plates, and by selecting the eco cycle it will make it even more efficient. It will also give you a bit more time to spend with family and friends, and not miss out on Christmas games.

Washing Machine – use the 30 degrees, eco setting and a full load. Table linen doesn’t need its own cycle in the machine, so wash on 30 degrees and make sure you’ve a full load to make the most of every drop of water and save on your energy bills too.

Christmas is a time when people visit one-another in their homes. Make sure you have some cistern bags and leaky loo strips on hand. With more visitors, the loo will have more flushes than normal. A cistern bag will ensure every flush uses less water. If you think your loo might be leaking grab yourself a leaky loo strip, so you can test it out.

Our Save Our Streams team have also devised a top ten play list for ensuring your shower does not last more than four minutes.

The shower playlist includes:

Christmas Time
(Don’t Let the Bells End)

The Darkness

Wonderful
Christmastime

Paul McCartney

All I Want For
Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey

You can find water saving devices here for FREE. Just enter your postcode, complete a short questionnaire and you can order your water saving gadgets. There are water efficient showerheads too if you fancy!

Over 170,000 Affinity Water customers are already signed up to Save Our Streams

saving themselves more water and money on their bills too

– thank you again everyone who’s come on-board.

Our recent refer-a-friend programme received great interest from those already signed up to Save Our Streams. Some of our lucky winners which are shown below, have received one of the many £25 high street vouchers up for grabs, which can be used at over 55,000 shops, restaurants, and attractions.

If you haven’t yet signed-up for Save Our Streams or ordered any free water saving gadgets – there’s still time.

Our lucky winners drawn week commencing 29th November are:

Miss Da Costa
Luton

Mr Singh
Hillingdon

Mr Goates
Rickmansworth

Mrs Sole
Watford

Mr and Mrs Pack
Tendring

Mr Pande
Spelthorne

Our lucky winners drawn week commencing 6th December are:

Miss Ward
Welwyn Hatfield

Mrs Scaria
Watford

Mr Richards
Kent

Mr Balakrishnan
Harrow

Mr Chakochan
Woking

Mrs Moakes
Harlow

Our lucky winners drawn week commencing 13th December are:

Mr Mahmood
Hillingdon

Mr Glasscoe
Ruislip

Mr Purmessur
North Hertfordshire

Mr Shahid
Luton

Miss Cox
Folkestone

Mr Latham
Watford

Our lucky winners drawn week commencing 20th December are:

Mr Vanston
North Hertfordshire

Mr Mehta
Hounslow

Miss Grist
Ealing

Mr Obeney
Barnet

Ms Ucel
Tendring

Mr Barker
Amersham

Brits admit they don’t know
how to flush a toilet

Shocking new research shows nearly three quarters of the nation are not completely sure how to flush a toilet correctly.

In a survey of 6,000 people, we asked our customers how confident they were at identifying the half flush function when using an unfamiliar dual flush toilet – with a whopping 73% stating they weren’t completely confident.

The new research further revealed that nearly a quarter (23%) of those asked to identify the half flush button on five different toilet systems got it wrong. It also found 33% of people do not use the water-saving function as much as possible.

We are urging the public to waste less water and protect the UK’s precious chalk streams after statistics show Affinity Water customers use 9% more water per person, per day than the national average. Despite this, Brits typically over-estimate their water-saving efforts, with more than half (59%) believing they use less water than the national average.

These iconic natural gems are now at risk due to Britain’s unsustainably high demand for water. We are calling on the British public to take action and Save Our Streams by saving 21 million litres per day (less than 10 litres per person, per day). By using the half flush button on a dual flush toilet, this target is easily achievable, with 3 litres of water saved on every flush.

Musical comedian Helen Arney, who performed alongside Sandi Toksvig and Mark Watson for our official SOS: Save Our Streams campaign launch in May, wrote a song called ‘I don’t know how to flush a toilet’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ursOnfT-axk

She comments: “I actually had some people thanking me on Twitter for helping to demystify the dual flush phenomenon! Telling people exactly how to flush their toilet through the medium of song while standing in a stream has to be one of the most bizarre points of my career. But behind the laughter is a very serious message.

“Knowing how to flush your toilet correctly really is one of the small changes you can make right now to help Save Our Streams.  If we don’t take this seriously, by 2025 we will have a shortfall of 43 million litres of water a day, which is actually a really sobering thought,”

More than 120,000 of our customers have signed up to Save Our Streams since the critical campaign was launched in April, which is already delivering savings of over 3 million litres every day.

Jane Bellard, SOS Campaign Project Lead at Affinity Water, comments: “It is shocking that 20 years after the dual flush toilet first became popular in UK homes, almost a quarter of people still cannot identify which flush they need to use. We are literally flushing millions of litres of litres of clean water away every day in our area. Roughly a third of our personal water use goes on toilet flushing, and you can potentially halve it by only using the single flush button.

“The UK is home to 85% of the world’s 210 chalk streams. We need to treasure our water now for the precious and important resource that it is. Saving water at home will not only help us do this, it will support our efforts towards a zero-carbon future.”

You can watch the whole of Helen’s performance at our Stand-up for Our Streams gig, here.

Members of the public are urged to take action now. Join Save Our Streams and answer a few questions about how they use water, gain access to their exact household water usage stats and receive a free water-saving kit and tailored advice.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

Plea for Britain’s ‘plant parents’ to stop binge watering

New plant owners are being called on to stop the over-watering ‘plant massacre’ that is threatening endangered British chalk streams, one of the country’s most unique natural treasures.

‘Binge watering’ is thought to be on the rise following lockdowns, and is adding to the nation’s water wasting crisis, which, without action, could see our customers alone facing a shortfall of 43 million litres per day by 2025.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, more than 3.5 million people have taken up gardening for the first time, fuelling the ‘binge watering’ trend. With some indoor plant retailers reporting sales increases of as much as 500% during lockdown, the average spend on gardening equipment up 35% and 2 in 3 ‘plant parents’ admitting they have killed a houseplant, the drain on water supplies linked to the plant love craze is clear.

We have teamed up with House Plant Consultant, Stuart Wilson as part of our movement SOS: Save Our Streams to help support new plant owners. Otherwise known in the horticulture world as Plantastic Mr Fox, Stuart has shared simple tips on how to avoid over-watering and keep plants greener for longer.

Stuart comments; “Since the start of the pandemic, many of us found a new passion for house plants. They bring us a lot of joy, add an aesthetic quality to our homes and reconnect us with nature.

“However; over-watering plants is one of the biggest problems new plant parents face. It is easy to worry that your plants will die quickly if left dry for too long. The truth is actually quite the opposite – over-watering can actually rot the root of any of your green beauties if left to sit in soggy soil.”

Stuart always refers new ‘plant parents’ to his three simple and effective top tips:

  1. “Most common house plants like to be watered when the top 2 inch of soil is dry. The best way to check this is to stick your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If your finger is dry then it is time to water.
  2. “When watering, fill your watering jug or can up with lukewarm water and water until it comes out of the pot’s drainage holes. This is all the water your plant needs. Drenching the soil will only lead to stagnant water collecting in the pot, again causing root rot.
  3. “If in doubt, water once every 7-10 days in spring and summer, and every 10-14 days in autumn and winter.”

Stuart continues; “I also get a lot of questions asking what my favourite hardy, easy-care plants are. I am a big fan of plants which require a simple and a not too frequent water routine – for me, they are the best kind of plants for any indoor plant lover. There are some absolutely beautiful hardy plants out there which are very accessible and budget-friendly.”

For those looking for a hardy, beautiful and low maintenance plant to start off or add to their collection, Stuart recommends the following:

Sansevieria trifasciata
(Snake Plant)

“I water mine once a month and she is one happy lady. They also love plenty of light so do well right next to the window.”

Zamioculcas zamiifolia
(ZZ Plant)

“Again, water once a month. They are pretty much happy next to a window as much as they are in a darker corner of your home. I love the perfect waxy leaves of this gorgeous plant.”

A closed Terrarium

“These just need a good misting to create a humid environment. Once sealed, the terrarium will create its own micro-climate and may need another spray of water every 2-3 months, if that. I have a terrarium which is thriving and I have watered it once in a year.”

More endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino, chalk streams, which have been coined ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’, are some of the UK’s most beautiful rivers, boasting pure, clear, water from underground springs.

We are calling on the UK to make a combined effort towards saving 21 million litres of water per day. This is the equivalent of 140 million cups of tea, 37 million pints of water, 262,500 baths of water and 8.4 Olympic swimming pools.

Members of the public are urged to take action now and answer a few questions about how they use water, gain access to their exact household water usage stats and receive a free water-saving kit and tailored advice.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

Jumbo paddling pool trend threatens Britain’s endangered chalk streams

Preserve precious paddling pool water says water company

The UK’s largest water-only supplier, Affinity Water, is calling on Brits to get paddling pool-savvy, as parents snap up gigantic paddling pools over the summer holidays, which can use a whopping 20,000 litres of water.

The enormous paddling pool craze is adding to the nation’s water-wasting crisis, which without action, could see the UK facing a shortfall of 43 million litres of water per day by 2025.

Sales of oversized ‘mega’ paddling pools have rocketed in the last year, with Brits forced to forgo their usual warm-weather overseas holidays. Retailer John Lewis said that sales of inflatable pools have risen by 78% since 2019, and sales of its largest 12ft-diameter pool had rocketed by 240%. Aldi recently announced it was selling a 10ft pool for just £30.

Affinity Water has made the call for better paddling pool water care as part of its SOS: Save Our Streams campaign, which asks its customer to waste less water to save our streams.

SOS: Save Our Streams Campaign Lead Jane Bellard comments:

“We have heard horror stories where some of these enormous pools are being emptied and refilled on a daily basis, wasting tens of thousands of litres of water. To put it into context – one mega 18-foot pool contains so much water it could provide the drinking water for an entire primary school of children for a whole term. Savvy parents know it only takes a few simple steps to keep pool water clean and fun for much longer periods of time, which is absolutely critical in tackling our water wasting habits which threaten rare chalk streams.”

Coined ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’, the beautiful chalk streams, which boast clear water from underground springs, are more endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino. These iconic natural gems are now at risk due to unsustainably high demand for water. The SOS: Save Our Streams campaign gives customers free water-saving gadgets to help bring down water use.

Members on one of the UK’s biggest parenting Facebook groups, Family Lowdown Tips & Ideas‘ (1.1m members), recently shared their best paddling pool hacks to keep pool water going for longer. These included adding tennis balls to soak up sun cream, using a bowl to wash feet before going in, and using simple filters, covers and even pool ‘vacuums’ to remove debris.

Jane Bellard added,

“The bigger the pool, the more you are probably going to need to do to look after it. Your local pool company will likely be a great resource for advice on anything you could use in the water to keep it going for as long as possible. When you do eventually drain it, consider using it to water plants or wash the car.”

Affinity Water customers can get a free water saving kit and lots of water saving advice at SaveOurStreams.co.uk.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

MP joins water-saving movement to help Save Our Streams

Local water supplier Affinity Water and Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin & Harpenden, joined forces this week to host a briefing in Hertfordshire with locals and prominent voices in conservation.

Held on the banks of chalk stream the River Lea at The White Cottage in Wheathampstead on Tuesday 28th July 2021, invitees heard from Bim Afolami MP and Jake Rigg, Corporate Affairs Director at Affinity Water with a progress update on movement SOS: Save Our Streams, the campaign that urges the public to waste less water to save endangered chalk streams. More than 90,000 people have so far signed up to the campaign and pledged to reduce the amount of water they use on a daily basis.

Among the attendees were representatives from the Environment Agency and the Living Rivers Campaign. Councillor Annie Brewster, Acting Chair of Hertfordshire County Council, was also in attendance.

The movement was launched in response to data which revealed Affinity Water customers use 9% more water per person, per day than the national average.

Bim Afolami MP commented: “Our chalk streams are a wonderful natural resource and a highly endangered habitat for some of the rarest native water-borne invertebrates. We are privileged to have so many that pass through our constituency.

“It was great to convene a meeting with local campaigners, Councillors from all levels of local government and representatives from Affinity Water, Environment Agency and the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust to discuss how we can all work together and save our chalk streams.”

“Water consumption – both domestic and in industry – is very high here in Hertfordshire and we had an extremely useful meeting to discuss the ways we can all reduce our water consumption and how regulators and industry can adopt best practice. I was very impressed with Affinity Water’s commitment to reduce abstraction, work with environmental groups and protect the fragile ecosystems in these living waterways. To echo the words of one parish councillor who attended; an holistic approach is completely necessary to protect these unique havens for nature.”

Jake Rigg commented: “Chalk streams are an iconic and beautiful asset to our countryside. Today, by the banks of the River Lea, a quintessential example of a chalk stream, we have been able to review our progress to date and discuss priorities for the next steps to achieve our goal to preserve these natural gems. The current demand for water is unsustainable and it must take a collective effort to address water-wasting behaviours. Affinity Water us committed to ending unsustainable abstraction from local streams, including the change we are making in the River Lea, but it has to be a community effort. Every single person who has signed up to the campaign so far will be making a difference.”

Affinity Water is the UK’s biggest water-only supplier. The company launched SOS: Save Our Streams in April 2021. Calling on the public to take action, the campaign seeks to see 21 million litres of water every day saved from being wasted (less than 10 litres per person, per day), the equivalent of 8.4 Olympic-sized swimming pools. A giant working bath, 125 times the size of a regular bath, has been touring towns and cities this summer as part of the campaign to highlight unsustainable water wastage.

Members of the public are urged to take action now and visit SaveOurStreams.co.uk where, after answering a few questions about how they use water, they can gain access to their exact household’s water-use stats, a free water-saving kit plus free leak repairs and tailored advice via video calls.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.

SOS meets funnyman Mark Watson

What were your first thoughts when you were approached to do a stand-up gig in a stream?

I had to read the email several times before I accepted that they definitely did mean I’d be standing IN the stream. Once I was convinced of that, I started to wonder what the weather was going to be like. After all, it would be just like the British weather to save one of the biggest deluges in recent years for the precise afternoon I was going to wade into a stream and chat to people about water conservation. But that wasn’t going to happen… was it?

How did it feel working with a live audience for the first time in over a year?

Well, in normal circumstances it would have been a very weird place to try and establish an atmosphere – a muddy bank on what was quite a chilly evening – but it had been so long since any of us were properly out of the house, it almost felt appropriate somehow that live comedy was restarting in such a mad setting. It was a bit like a halfway house between a comedy gig and a strange dream.

What water wasting habits were you guilty of before getting involved with SOS: Save our Streams?

Quite a lot, if I’m being honest. I’m a lover of baths and, left to my own devices, the sort of person who would happily spend the day in one, topping it up again and again. I also leave taps running much more than I should, boil the kettle much fuller than I need to, all this sort of thing. None of it is intentional negligence, but they’re just habits you can easily fall into if you take things for granted.

Have you made any changes to your daily routine as a result of what you’ve learned?

I’ve rationed my bathing a lot more, for a start. And just been conscious of not starting the shower and then going off to do something else, for example. As with a lot of healthy changes, they’re a matter of just taking ten seconds to be mindful of what you’re doing – getting into mental patterns that are a bit more aware.

Did you realise quite how precious our chalk streams were before you worked with Affinity Water?

No, I’d not given it much thought at all. I definitely wasn’t aware that such a high percentage of the world’s chalk streams were in this country; let alone that they were endangered. It’s not that easy to make a connection between a natural feature, like a stream, and your own water use at home. That’s why I’m pleased to be part of this campaign.

What advice would you give to people who want to make a simple, easy change to their routine to help waste less water?

Just make a mental note of every time you’re leaving a tap running for longer than it needs to be. ‘Any time a tap is running with nothing underneath it, that’s a waste of water’. That was something I said to camera on the day, and it has really stayed with me. You start noticing that it’s happening quite a lot, and that it’s very easy to address it.

Final question…do you know which button to flush when you use the toilet?

Helen Arney’s song about this, at the gig, touched on one of the great human anxieties of our age. Luckily, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Australia and over there, EVERY toilet has the two-button system. So, I like to think I’m pretty sharp. But I’m not cocky. I continue to concentrate hard in the bathroom.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.