Enormous 10,000 litre bath in Hemel Hempstead shopping centre highlights the town's overuse of water

Here's why you might have seen a giant bath in Hemel Hempstead at the weekend

Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:48 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:52 am

Shoppers in Hemel Hempstead may have spotted the giant bathtub at the Riverside Shopping Centre at the weekend.

The showstopping bathtub - an incredible 125 times the size of a regular bath - was commissioned by local water supplier Affinity Water, as part of its SOS: Save Our Streams campaign, to highlight the town’s water wasting habits, after figures show that local residents are using 2.4 per cent more water than the national average.

More than 33,000 people are estimated to have seen the giant bath on Friday, July 2, and Saturday, July 3, where Affinity Water’s team urged them to reduce water wastage in their homes and gardens, and join forces to protect the UK’s chalk streams.

Shoppers in Hemel Hempstead may have spotted the giant bathtub at the Riverside Shopping Centre
Shoppers in Hemel Hempstead may have spotted the giant bathtub at the Riverside Shopping Centre

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

New research with more than 6,000 Affinity Water customers revealed that more than half (53 per cent) visit local rivers and streams more than once a month, and more than three quarters (76 per cent) say they care a lot about their local rivers and streams.

These iconic natural gems are now at risk due to unsustainably high demand for water. With 71 per cent of Affinity Water customers interested in reducing water use at home, the new SOS: Save Our Streams campaign aims to support them with tailored water saving advice.

Jane Bellard, SOS campaign project lead at Affinity Water, said: “Chalk streams like the River Gade are incredibly rare, one of only 200 in the world.

Affinity Water's Save Our Streams Bath Tour

“We are asking residents in Hemel Hempstead to save water equivalent to 109 of our giant bathtubs every day, to help save our streams.

"This is around 18 litres per household, which can be shaved off really easily, simply by turning the tap off when the water is running but not being used.

“To help everyone tackle their water wasting habits we have created SaveOurStreams.co.uk, a new and genuinely helpful resource.

"The website provides tailored advice for easy wins to help us all waste less water, as well as offering water-saving freebies.”

The showstopping bathtub was commissioned by local water supplier Affinity Water, as part of its SOS: Save Our Streams campaign

Affinity Water is calling on everyone to take action to save chalk streams from the brink by saving 21 million litres per day - less than 10 litres per person, 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.

Jane added: “Affinity Water is committed to ending unsustainable abstraction from local streams, but it must be a community effort.

"Saving water at home will not only help us do this, it will support our efforts towards a zero-carbon future.”