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Hosepipe bans lifted by three water companies

June 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Three of the largest water companies in the UK recently lifted their hosepipe bans, allowing millions of people to start watering their garden plants and washing their cars with greater ease once again.

The companies in question are Southern Water, Thames Water and Anglian Water, which together provide water to 15 million people in the south and east of England.

Restrictions came into place in April, but no sooner had they been enforced than huge amounts of rainfall arrived. Both April and May were very wet months, and heavy rain at the beginning of June also helped to ease the pressure on the water companies. The large amount of rain also reduced the demand for water by gardeners.

However, not all companies are lifting the hosepipe bans just yet. Sutton East Surrey Water, South East Water, Veolia Water Southeast and Veolia Water Central are keeping the bans in place for the time being, and the reason for this is that they depend more upon groundwater reserves than on reservoirs.

The bans came into force following two excessively dry winters, and it is now thought that some places around the UK are going to need a very wet winter indeed to recover fully.

Despite the recent wet months, the risk of a serious drought has still not gone away, and next year we could be back in the same situation if the winter is dry once again.

Richard Aylard from Thames Water said that “with groundwater levels still low and the possibility of a third successive dry winter, we still need to be careful”. He pleaded with customers to use their water very sparingly whilst the situation was still precarious.

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Hosepipe bans relaxed in the south east

June 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

The very dry weather over the winter saw seven large water firms impose hosepipe bans at the beginning of April. However, following a month of record rainfall, Thames Water and the six other firms to impose the bans have announced a slight relaxation for horticultural businesses.

Turf companies, landscaping firms and other gardening businesses will now be able to water plants and turf that they lay for up to 28 days following planting, in a move which is likely to be a huge relief to many companies.

However, despite the relaxation in the rules, the water shortage problem is still severe because groundwater levels are still very low and the hosepipe ban will remain in place for other water customers in the south of England.

On April 5, seven water firms restricted the use of hosepipes, but the rest of the month then saw two-and-a-half times the average amount of rainfall which led to the easing of the restrictions.

Gardening firms suffer badly under hosepipe bans, and Richard Aylard from Thames Water said that they are “relieved to be in a position to take this step”.

Horticultural firms had been worried that the restrictions could even lead to fewer contracts and the loss of jobs, which is not what the industry needs in these difficult economic times. According to ITV News, the Turfgrass Growers Association reported sales dropping 60% following the introduction of the hosepipe ban.

The lifting of restrictions will come as a relief to many, but the BBC recently reported on a turf supplier from Bedfordshire who claims that the easing of restrictions have done nothing for his business.

Giles Talwell claimed that Anglian Water’s decision to relax hosepipe usage for turf companies only applies when the turf is professionally laid. If his customers lay the turf themselves they are not allowed to water it for the following 28 days, and this has led to a fall in sales of 80%.

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