South East Water says restrictions stay for now

While water companies Southern, Thames and Anglian have lifted their water restrictions South East Water (SEW) has stressed it is keeping temporary use bans in place, as it continues to carefully monitor water levels. SEW said recent rainfall has boosted river and reservoir levels but "has had little impact" on the region's groundwater sources, many of which remain at severe levels.

As these provide 75% of all customers’ water supplies, SEW said it is not in a position to remove water restrictions and will continue to carefully follow its Drought Plan to ensure it is prepared for the risk of a third dry winter. 

SEW said it would not normally expect to see the vital underground reserves re-fill properly until the autumn, but if the current wet weather continues anything is possible and therefore they continue to monitor the levels closely and keep the restrictions under review. 

Paul Seeley, asset director at South East Water, said: “All water companies must stick to their drought management plans which are agreed with our regulators. Just as those companies who are now in a position to withdraw their restrictions will be following theirs, so must we comply with ours and retain them. 

“We hope our customers understand why we are taking the action we are – these depleted reserves still need to see us through the summer, if it ever arrives, while we must also plan for the possibility of a third dry winter.”

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