Welcome to the newsletter from ech2o consultants keeping you informed of all things water!

Welcome to the summer 2016 newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of our award winning newsletter. Got to bish bosh this newsletter out so we get back on track re the timings, which are (to remind ourselves as much as you, our loyal readers) March, June, Sept and Dec every year. That means it will be short and sweet (though with ech2o’s Toilet Corner attempting to take over the world, it might not be as short as planned!)  As ever we hope you all enjoy it, find the contents useful, inspirational or just plain fun and keep those comments, suggestions messages etc. coming in.

The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo – coming to a cinema near you soon!

But while we wait for that, thanks to EC1 Bathrooms and RegenMedia  you can now watch the story in sound (by Cath) and vision (Jon Evans). Its eight minutes and eight seconds of your life that you will never get back but we think it’s brilliant especially all the close-ups of Jon’s fabulous illustrations.


Remember you can buy the book through Amazon and we will donate the tax that Aamazon should have paid to WaterAid. Or you can order direct through us (which is cheaper). Just email us on and we will send you an invoice. Book is £5.99 plus £1.50 postage and packing direct from us. You can read a great review of the book by Adam Vaughan of Tracing Green if you haven’t yet.

Loads more Frankie the flamingo stuff here, including fun worksheets for follow up work.

Flamingo shopping corner

If anyone wonders what we would like as a present in the ech2o offices, then a flock of Donald Featherstone’s plastic pink flamingos wouldn’t go amiss! See more images of this iconic garden decoration here.


WatEf’s blogs

I’ve been a member of the WatEf network for a while now. Great organisation. Set up to bridge the gap between academia and industry and ensure the free flow of information between the two. Now they have just launched a monthly behaviour change blog.  Cath has blogged about adolescents and showering and ech2o’s new behaviour change model - Gudge theory. While Peter Curtain has blogged about the how the 1967 drought in Melbourne changed the thinking around water conservation in Australian suburbs. Early days yet, but it’s shaping up to be a really good source of information.

Rainfall data for Australia - it does what it says on the tin! 

Great interactive map of rainfall in Australia, 1900 to the present year by year. With major droughts and major floods highlighted. And this is a timeline of Melbourne’s water supply from 1803 onwards. From Peter Curtain’s blog (as per above). 

Stupid waste of water corner

If you thought the last ‘waste of water’ corner item was stupid, I reckon this one has surpassed it. There is a website out there that explains how to have a shower – seemingly for real. So after you have learnt how to adjust the flow and temperature etc. etc. it then begins to say why not shave your legs in the shower or if you’re a (non-cycling) bloke why not shave your beard while you’re in there and then … that it’s a good idea to brush your teeth while you’re in the shower as you can brush your tongue and not be afraid of getting toothpaste in your hair or on your clothes. But, good news, it reminds you at the end to turn the water off tightly so you don’t waste any!

If you think I’m just making this up… I wish! Here is the proof – sigh.

Where are they now? Part 1

Thanks to Lydia, who might have left ech2o after a short but sweet stint to deliver babies into the world but is still here in spirit, as can be seen by the link she sent us recently about this fabulous toilet restaurant! Seemingly just one of many in Taiwan because the first one proved so popular.

Google ‘toilet restaurant’ and you will see what they are serving up – though maybe don’t do it while you’re eating…

Congrats to Leicester City for making the fairy tale come true.

Cath was going to write a whole shower blog about Leicester City winning the premiership (given her 45 years of following them through thin (sic) and thin), with some spurious reference to showers replacing communal baths after football matches. In the end she didn’t but did find these great photos of footballers in baths from yesteryear while researching it.


I laughed like a drain when I saw this video. Reminds me of showering in soft water under Jenny sis’s puny electric shower up in the Lake District. Could never get rid of the shampoo. Now I realise I was being showerpranked by Ols all the time! Thanks to Jon Bootland who constantly drip drips ideas into the mix,,,


A year of showering variously - the best blog about showering in the world

In April Cath claimed to be showering underwater – a new version of extreme ironing I guess - before floating gently off into info about the showering habits of the Dutch. In May she trialled the EcoCamel Orbit, and mused about spray patterns while waiting to see if Suhith would allow it in the house, and in June she grappled with the intricacies of torque and power while trying to work out the carbon footprint of a shower on Protea, her canal boat.

Introducing Eric the earbud and his new column, 
Eric the earbud asks…


How we use water

At Home with Water 2 is the updated and expanded report by the Energy Savings Trust about how people in the UK use water. Definitely worth reading. Published in March 2015 so whilst not hot off the press it is still warm.
Even better to my mind is the 2015 Dutch Drinking Water Statistics which covers all aspects of the water supply industry in the Netherlands. The bit I found really fascinating was the data breaking down water consumption by use and age.


Fat traps and fat bergs

Spotted this fat trap in a school recently (ironically in a school in London so actually a Thames Water area).


Why shouldn’t you pour fat, oils and grease (or FOG as it is commonly known) down the kitchen sink? Well firstly because it will more than likely solidify in your drains as demonstrated by Rhodri the rat. If it gets past the drains then it blocks the sewer. It is a massive problem for all water companies, and costs millions of pounds a year to clear.

See more about the problems of fat and wet wipes in sewers in this great video by Lottie from Anglian Water. We love her brilliant slogan too. ‘If it hasn’t been through, you don’t put it down the loo – though don’t try eating loo paper!’ – Pure class!

Where are they now? Part 2

Safa may have left ech2o but she is still firmly ensconced in the water nerd world. She now works for WaterSocial and here is her blatant advertorial of it. (Our pleasure Safa! – easily bribed Ed.)

 Looking for the latest in social media and water efficiency? Then look no further than! WaterSocial's mission is to promote sustainable water use across the  globe.  This  might be nothing new, however what makes WaterSocial stand out is the fact  that it is a  gamified social  media platform. A what?! Just imagine Facebook or Twitter but a  whole online community focused all on  saving water. Heaven (some of) you might say! The  bonus is that after every photo and water saving tip  shared you receive points. Members’  points are displayed on a leader board, which adds in an element of  competition as there are opportunities to win prizes. There is even a weekly water quiz.

Could WaterSocial be taking a step closer to making saving water cool? You decide!

The Grauniad corrections and clarifications corner

Whatever happened to common sense re legionella?


Following our mail out of the Spring newsletter we were contacted by the Press Department of Kent County Council stating unequivocally that banning rainwater harvesting in Kent Schools is certainly not council policy. We are pleased to hear that and would like to apologise to the council for any distress caused. At the same time it is still a concern that the school in question felt that the advice they were given meant they needed to stop collecting rainwater. Hopefully it was just a one-off. But to be certain perhaps the Council could write to all their schools clearing up this issue.


Poetry corner – attempt three

Last newsletter we asked for responses to Sebastian’s poem. And got a response from John Griggs. Thanks John! It’s a very long one so we’ve picked out the best bits…
Is half an hour
Thinking in a shower,
And Wetter
Than an hour and a half,
Wrinkling in a bath?
Thinking is better
If you’re drier, not wetter.

Dropping books in the bath
Is never a laugh,

If your feet reach the end,
There isn’t room for a friend,
But at least you are not squandering water.

Probably knocking this on the head now unless Carol Ann Duffy (poet Laureate) wants to send us something.

Water around the world

No new blogs this newsletter. Though we did get this message… “Loving your newsletter as always! I need to be true to my word and get something to you for the water around the world blog. Cara Beal” (Well, Cara, today would have been favourite. Failing that, perhaps you could make it before the sun turns into a red giant and engulfs the whole world - Bad cop Ed). Though to be fair to Cara, she did send us a link to The Water Room’s website, which has some great videos and speeches.
Nevertheless, smiley poo face makes another appearance! Remember, we are always looking for new posts so if you want to write about any aspect of water supply, use or sanitation in your own country (UK included) just drop an email to  with a brief synopsis about what you want to write about and we will get back to you to bite your arm off!

Hand dryers – harmful for your health?

I love Dishoom in Kings Cross: the food, the loos, the hand washing facilities in the loos and the chai they give you while you are queuing outside.

The only thing I don’t like is their bloody hand dryers!  And why? Because they have two xcelerator hand dryers. Each one of which give off a staggering 90 dB when on. 90 dB is the same as a lawnmower. Only you don’t have to listen to a lawnmower in a tiled room 5m by 2m. Let alone two of them. I’ve never been a big fan of hand dryers (preferring to dry my hands on my trousers because of the energy use) but now I’m starting to think they should be banned (or at least the noisier ones) on the grounds of hearing damage! I can feel a technical blog about this coming on…  

More ideas to get you out of the shower quicker

Students determined what would incentivise or influence them personally to get out of the shower quicker. The top three factors recorded are: being given rewards (17%), understanding the wider impacts of their water use on the environment (17%), and technological advancements such as showers automatically turning off after a certain time (16%). We will be publishing a big report about this soon!

How Sustainable is Your Oasis?: A Review of Water Resources in Middle East Cities

Just in before deadline day (thanks Ben) this fabulous article by Karim Elgendy about how cities in desert areas historically were founded, where they get their water supplies from, and the challenges for their future. (The image shows date farms in Liwa UAE, fed by groundwater.)


@CathHassell – Follow Cath on Twitter

As she says in her twitter blurb: Likes: plumbing, cycling, cricket and India. Will only tweet about water and toilets though. She has pretty much kept to that promise if you count all plumbing as either water or toilets. If you want to see what you missed go here or start to follow her.

AECB water blog

Always detailed. Always eclectic. Currently on holiday due to cash flow issues. Hopefully back soon. In the meantime check out archived ones here.

Last but not least

If this is the first time you are reading one of our newsletters, don’t forget that all earlier versions are available here. Full of links to technical downloads as well as random water stuff. 


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