Three water companies to end hosepipe bans

Thames Water, Anglian Water and Southern Water have announced today that the hosepipe bans, which came into force on April 5, will be lifted tomorrow.

According to the trio, torrential rain in April, May and June has helped ease the stress on their water supplies by boosting flows in rivers and refilling reservoirs which had been hard hit by two-years of drought.

However, the companies warned that while the heavy rain helped many groundwater aquifers recover from the record low levels in some areas that some aquifers are likely to remain low until they can be recharged by sustained rainfall in winter.

Thames Water sustainability director Richard Aylard, said: “While we prepared for the worst, bringing in restrictions to save water to ensure there would be enough if the dry spell continued, the topsy-turvy British weather had other ideas. Since we imposed the Temporary Use Ban just over two months ago, we have received an extraordinary amount of rain.

“We are really pleased we can now lift the ban but, with groundwater levels still low and the possibility of a third successive dry winter, we still need to be careful. We don’t need a ban, but we do need to ask everyone to keep on using water wisely.”

Anglian Water director of Water Services Paul Valleley echoed this call, saying that while it is confident its summer supplies are secure without the need for further restrictions that many of its underground aquifers levels are still low.

Mr Valleley said: “Many aquifers started April at historically low levels and many are still below normal, even after the torrential downpours we have seen recently.

“The recharge of these aquifers is a natural process and with summer now upon us, there is unlikely to be any real change until we get a full winter of rain to replenish them.”

Hosepipe bans are expected to need to stay in place for Sutton and East Surrey Water, South East Water, Veolia Water Central and Veolia Water Southeast for longer as they continue to refill their water supplies.

Carys Matthews

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