Hosepipe ban on its way

A HOSEPIPE ban is set to be imposed in Comet country with fines of up to �1,000 for anyone who breaches it.

The move is due to low rainfall which continues to take its toll on water levels in the South East of England.

With the region recently designated by the Environment Agency and DEFRA as officially in drought, seven water companies including Veolia Water which covers this area have announced that there will be restrictions on domestic water use this year.

Veolia Water will apply for a temporary use ban tomorrow (Tuesday) which will come into effect from April 5.

It means that all domestic customers will have restricted use of a hosepipe to help conserve water. The ban will include using a hosepipe to water a garden, clean a car, fill a swimming or paddling pool, fill a pond, clean walls or windows, clean paths or patios.

Mike Pocock, water resources manager for Veolia Water, said: “We have had less than 60 per cent of average rainfall this autumn and winter, which has been compounded by low rainfall in the previous year.

“Little of this rainfall has made its way through the soil and into the underground aquifer (a natural underground reservoir), which is where we take the majority of our water.

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“Asking our customers to restrict their water use this summer is a tough call, but the situation is showing no sign of improving and we must act now to ensure that everyone is prepared.”

David Stimpson, of The River Beane Restoration Association, said: “We are in a serious drought situation and we welcome all measures aimed at reducing water abstraction.

“The river Beane (which runs through Whitwell) currently has unseasonable low flows in the lower reaches and has dried up in the upper reaches.

“The January ground water levels are the lowest since 1998 and conservation measures have to be supported. The situation is already serious and unfortunately may get worse if the current dry spell continues.”

Veolia Water is offering all its customers free water saving devices to help reduce water use. Not only can this save money on metered water use, it could also save money on energy bills. Water saving advice and devices can be ordered at www.veoliawater.co.uk/savewater

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