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United Utilities to introduce hosepipe ban

United Utilities has announced that it will impose a Temporary Use Ban following the prolonged heatwave.

The hosepipe ban will come into force on Sunday 5 August, and there now follows a period of time for customers to provide feedback if they believe they should be exempt.

The ban will apply to domestic customers who get their water supply from United Utilities, with the exception of customers in Carlisle and the north Eden Valley, where supplies remain at reasonable levels.

Martin Padley, United Utilities' water services director, said: "Despite some recent rainfall, reservoir levels are still lower than we would expect at this time of year and, with forecasters predicting a return to hot dry weather for the rest of July, we are now at a point where we will need to impose some temporary restrictions on customers.

"It is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are enormously grateful to customers for having helped reduce the demand on our network over the last couple of weeks, but unless we get a period of sustained rainfall before 5 August these restrictions will help us safeguard essential water supplies for longer."

While the ban restricts the use of hosepipes or sprinklers for watering private gardens and washing private cars, customers will still be able to water their gardens with a watering can and wash their vehicles using a bucket and sponge. These methods typically use a fraction of the amount of water a hosepipe or sprinkler uses.

The move by United Utilities is alongside the company’s continuing efforts to maintain essential supplies, such as maximising water abstraction from ground water supplies, moving water around its regional integrated network of pipes and running an extensive campaign to encourage customers to use water wisely.

Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher said: "United Utilities' proposed hosepipe ban is not a move the company has taken lightly and has come after spending weeks managing the situation in their area.

"They must now do all they can to explain to customers what is happening and get the right support in place, especially for those who might be vulnerable.

"We are working closely with the government and the Environment Agency to monitor how all companies are managing their response to the hot, dry weather. We expect all companies to be well prepared to serve their customers, whatever the weather."

Irish Water imposed a hosepipe ban earlier this month to follow Northern Ireland Water, but the Environment Agency had said England's water resource situation was 'generally healthy'.

Author: Robin Hackett, editor, WWT
Topic: Policy & Regulation , Water resources
Tags: hosepipe ban , United Utilities , water resource management

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