A variety of washroom appliances are available which claim to be water efficient. However there are a number of “human” factors, which may adversely affect the water savings actually achieved when the appliances are installed. These were investigated as part of Thames Water's “Watercycle” project at the Millennium Dome, where a range of water efficient devices, such as infra-red controlled taps, waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets, were installed in the washrooms and compared to standard appliances. As well as monitoring actual metered water usage, to help understand how users interacted with the range of appliances, the work also involved a survey conducted by interview and an observational study of water using behaviour in the washrooms. The results highlighted significant differences between males and females, for example females were more likely to wash their hands following toilet use. With respect to “novel” dual flush toilets and waterless urinals, both fairly unusual in the UK, they were well received by users. In contrast, the infra-red controlled taps were found difficult to use and least likely to be accepted for use in the home. Relevant signage and labelling was found to have a positive effect on conservation and user opinions.

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