Southern Water bosses announce England's first hosepipe ban
Southern Water bosses announce England’s first hosepipe ban for Hampshire and Isle of Wight as nation faces driest July since 1911 – after firm lost 98.5m litres of water a day to leaks last year
- Southern Water have imposed the ban on Friday for the first time since 2012
- The UK saw its hottest day on record on 19 July with temperatures reaching 40C
- Company says environment needs to be protected on ‘one of the driest years’
Water bosses have announced a hosepipe ban for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight next Friday after the recent heatwave scorched the UK.
Southern Water said although there was not a risk to their water supplies, the environment has to be protected during ‘one of the driest years on record for over a century’.
The UK saw its hottest day on record with temperatures soaring to 40.3C (104.5F) on 19 July, caused by a plume of hot air from north Africa and the Sahara.
This is the first time the water company have imposed a hosepipe ban since 2012.
Southern Water have announced a hosepipe ban for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight next Friday after the recent heatwave scorched the UK. The company have shared the impact of water use in paddling pools
Director of risk and compliance at Southern Water, Dr Alison Hoyle, said: ‘We haven’t taken this decision lightly and we know the temporary use ban will have an impact on our customers.
‘We’re asking everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to do their bit by supporting these measures and only use the water that they need.
The company added that the temperatures have caused a drought which threatens to damage the habitats of the River Test and River Itchen.
River flows are said to be approximately 25 per cent lower than they should be for July, which is equivalent to losing more than 25 million bathtubs of water.
The company added that the temperatures have caused a drought which threatens to damage the habitats of the River Test (pictured) and River Itchen
Southern Water said in a statement: ‘The extremely hot weather and reduced rainfall alongside increased demand has left the water levels significantly lower.
WHAT IS BANNED IN THE HOSEPIPE BAN?
Southern Water have outlined the following activities as being forbidden under their Temporary Use Ban
Watering a garden using a hosepipe
Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe
Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe
‘We’re asking our customers to help protect our rivers and the habitats that live there by cutting back their water use. We believe a Temporary Use Ban is a responsible and vital step to reducing the amount of water being taken from the Rivers Test and Itchen.’
Southern Water have already shared the impact of water use in paddling pools with a graphic showing how 500-1,000 litre pools use up 330 to 660 hand washes, 1,250 to 2,500 cups or tea and 50 to 100 toilet flushes, and a 3,000 litre pool uses the equivalent of 2,000 hand washes, 7,500 cups or tea and 300 toilet flushes.
The ban comes as the National Fire Chiefs Council warned UK cities earlier this week that they need to prepare for wildfires after dozens of ‘unprecedented’ blazes broke out during last week’s extreme 40C (104F) temperatures.
Parts of the country brace for an official drought that could see schools shut, farmers banned from watering crops and wildlife left at risk.
Beachgoers in Bournemouth watched in horror as a huge blaze broke out on a cliffside above Boscombe Pier and burned through the dry heath on Tuesday which is home to grazing goats – with people urged to avoid the area.
Elsewhere the National Trust said a major fire broke out at Morden Hall Park in South London last weekend which was caused by a disposable barbecue, adding that it had a ‘devastating effect, obliterating the meadow’.
The National Fire Chiefs Council tactical advisor David Swallow said ‘services need to recognise the risk they’ve now got’, adding: ‘If they don’t, then they’re naïve.’
Most of England except for the North West has now moved into a state of ‘prolonged dry weather’, the step before drought is declared, raising the possibility of water companies bringing in restrictions such as hosepipe bans.
England faces drought in August if the hot and dry weather continues, with officials from the National Drought Group discussing a plan of action today on how to cope with the conditions and protect water supplies.
The National Drought Group had a crisis meeting this week where they stopped short of declaring a ‘national state of drought’ in England and Wales.
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