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Hosepipe ban lifted in North-West

September 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

For the first time in 14 years a hosepipe ban was imposed this July on parts of Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside after the water in many reservoirs in the area dropped to only half the normal level.

The good news for the millions of customers affected is that United Utilities have now lifted the ban in view of the heavy rainfall over the past few weeks.

The real reason for the ban was the dry start to 2010, the driest in fact since records began in 1929. The summer was less dry (in fact, parts of Liverpool suffered flash floods after half an inch of rain fell in just one hour) but still reservoir levels were low hence the ban on using hosepipes for watering the garden and washing the car.

Customers were generally diligent in saving water and only 90 formal warnings had to be issued up to the end of July. In all, customers saved a whopping three billion litres of water.

Reservoir levels are still low in the Pennines but those in Cumbria and North Wales are back to average levels for the time of year. Water from North Wales and Cumbria will be moved to the reservoirs in the Pennines utilising the integrated pipe system.

In response to critics who say the water company would be better off repairing leaks, United Utilities has said that costs are prohibitive and that a hosepipe ban every 15 years or so is preferable to the huge increases in bills necessary to ensure a leak-free network.

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