Hosepipe ban to be put in place for some Sussex residents

A hosepipe ban is set to be put in place for some residents in Sussex.
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South East Water said the hosepipe restrictions, which will be enforced from June 26, are for its Kent and Sussex customers.

Customers will be prevented from using hosepipes for watering their gardens, washing cars and patios and from filling pools.

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The company said: “Demand for drinking water in Kent and Sussex has reached record levels in June – with customers using a similar amount of water as in the drought last year. This situation has left South East Water with no choice but to restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers in both counties.

Hosepipe stock (Photo Illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)Hosepipe stock (Photo Illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Hosepipe stock (Photo Illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

“The south east has experienced a prolonged period of dry weather. This, coupled with the high temperatures experienced in recent weeks, has seen customer demand for treated water reach record levels. Regrettably over the last week this has begun to impact customers across Kent and Sussex, who have experienced low pressure or no water, as stocks of drinking water have reduced to very low levels in our local clean water storage tanks.”

South East Water said its facilities are working at full output, with every water treatment work and water source available to the company producing treated water to keep up with demand.

They added: “Despite this, the company is unable to return drinking water storage tanks to satisfactory levels to ensure that it is able to consistently provide clean safe drinking water for its 2.3m customers.”

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South East Water said despite producing an additional 120 million litres of water a day - equivalent to supplying four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne – the demand for water has broken all previous records.

The company’s chief executive officer David Hinton said: “We’ve seen customer demand increase in line with the hotter weather, however this has impacted our ability to keep all customers in supply at all times. Despite asking for customers help to use water for essential uses only, regrettably we’ve now been left with no choice but to introduce this temporary use ban restriction to protect customers’ supplies across Kent and Sussex.

“The long-term forecast for the rest of the summer is for a dry period with little rainfall, although temperatures may reduce slightly. Restricting the use of hosepipes and sprinklers to make sure we have enough water for our customers’ essential use will ensure we can serve our vulnerable customers and to protect the local environment.”

The company said it is very aware that climate change and other factors are increasing the frequency of these events and that it is submitting proposals to its regulator, Ofwat, to solve these issues.

Further information on exemptions to restrictions can be viewed on the company’s website at www.southeastwater.co.uk/tubs

Southern Water said its water resources are in good shape so at the moment no restrictions are anticipated. However the company is asking households and business to use water wisely.