Save Water

Save Water

On the Isles of Scilly we have VERY limited supplies of drinking water and must retain capacity to respond to surges in demand from incidents such as fires or travel disruption.  On St Marys the ground water sources are supplemented with a desalination plant, but this does not have the capacity to meet the full demand of customers, especially in the summer months when the population swells because of the tourist season.

The Council of the Isles of Scilly is asking everyone – visitors, residents and businesses – to make every effort to conserve water by reducing the amount used. If everyone takes some small steps to reduce consumption we hope that we can avoid interruptions to the supply.

What can you do?

  • Avoid non-essential washing of cars and boats.
  • Resist the temptation to water lawns and gardens using the mains supply.
  • Check for leaks, drips or trickling water and make sure repairs are made quickly.
  • Re-use ‘grey water’ where you can – such as to water your garden.
  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher with FULL loads. This will save money on your electricity bill too.
  • Install a water butt to collect rainwater for your garden or allotment, or for washing your car. These are inexpensive and can be purchased locally or from online retailers.
  • Don't leave the tap running when you brush your teeth.
  • Install water saving devices available free of charge to everyone (see below).
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Every time you use drinking water for something, take moment to consider if you really need to. 

Water Saving devices

The Council has free water savings devices available free of charge. 

1. Save-a-flush bags which are easily placed into your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used each time you flush the toilet.

2. Shower Sense fittings (for mains fed shower hoses) ​Water efficient – Designed to regulate the water flow to just 8 litres per minute Compatibility – The ShowerSense is NOT suitable for electric showers or those with multiple jets. For power showers we recommend you contact the manufacturer to confirm suitability. Energy saving - You might think if you’re not on a water meter that this won’t help you save money. However, did you know hot water use contributes £228 to the average household’s annual energy bill? And showers are the biggest users of hot water in your home accounting for 25% of all your family’s water use.

3. Tap Aerator Inserts Using the special tool provided, make your basin taps water efficient with these simple yet highly effective 5 litre per minute regulators. These tap inserts will fit the majority of taps with a screwed outlet housing. They are not suitable for large bath taps. The inserts should not affect the performance of your taps, merely regulate the flow to 5 litres per minute  Save water & energy – With a flow rate of 5 litres per minute, you can save on your utility bills. Fully aerated – Limits splashing, reduces velocity of stream while providing plenty of water for your everyday needs in the bathroom. Easy to fit – comes with a special tool and the inserts are designed to fit within the original housing so your tap remains unchanged from the outside. Fitting instructions provided. Please note: to fit, the end of your basin tap needs to feature two straight edges.

We also have leaflets that can be displayed (eg in bathrooms, holiday lets and noticeboards) to help remind everyone of the importance of water conservation. All devices and leaflets are available from the Customer Hubs at the Library and Carn Gwaval Wellbeing Centre.  Save-a-flush bags and leaflets can be picked up at the self Service Desk at the Town Hall. Alternatively contact the Infrastructure team by telephone on 01720 424450 or email


We regularly publish consumption data in Noticeboards and on the Council's facebook page.  Here's an example of one from July 2018.