Water authorities in parts of Southern and Eastern England have introduced a hosepipe ban affecting 20 million customers.
The hosepipe ban has been implemented after the fifth driest March since 1910. The Government have urged households to be smarter about how we use water. With the hotter months approaching the need for water will become more demanding.
Suppliers that have introduced ‘temporary use bans’ are Thames, Southern, South East, Anglian, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East.
The ban prevents households from using a hosepipe to water a garden and cleaning outdoor surfaces. Exemptions have been made for grass and surfaces used for national and international sports. If consumers ignore the ban and continue to use their hosepipe they could face a £1,000 fine.
Water companies have put the ban in place to help preserve water supplies but also need consumers to cut down on the amount of water that is used on a daily basis. An average person is estimated to use 150 litres a day and 3.4billion litres were leaked in 2010/2011 as a result of not switching taps off properly.
Taking steps to change the amount of water that is used can be, taking a shower instead of a bath, washing vegetables in a bowl of water instead of running under the tap, turning taps off so they don’t leak and when brushing teeth don’t leave the tap running for a long time.
Karen Gibbs, from the Consumer Council for Water, commented on the ban: “The companies should be aiming to exceed their leakage targets and when there's a drought on it's really important that they're being seen to be really stepping up their effort on leakage, so that customers can see that they are doing everything they can.”
We recently wrote our guide on how to save water. Click the link to have a read and see how you can save water in your household.
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By Amanda Bainbridge