Two million more households are set to be hit by latest hosepipe ban today as Britain’s dry spell continues
- Around 2.2 million people are expected to be hit by the ban from August 12
- South East Water will announce the ban for households in Kent and Sussex
- The company lost 88.7 million litres of water a day from leaky pipes last year
A second hosepipe ban hitting millions more households is expected to be announced today as Britain’s dry spell continues.
South East Water plans to confirm a ‘temporary usage ban’ for Kent and Sussex, according to details of a briefing leaked to the Daily Mail.
Around 2.2million customers will be hit by the ban, which is expected to start at midnight on August 12.
South East Water, which last year lost 88.7million litres of water a day through leaking pipes, will be the second UK water company to announce a hosepipe ban so far this summer.
Last week, Southern Water announced a ban for nearly a million of its customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that comes into force on Friday.
(Stock Image) Around 2.2 million people in Kent and Sussex will be affected by the hose pipe ban
It will mean hosepipes cannot be used to water gardens or clean cars, and ornamental ponds and private swimming pools must not be filled.
Flouting the restriction could lead to prosecution and a court fine of up to £1,000.
An internal South East Water briefing on plans for the new ban, seen by the Mail, noted that other water companies could follow suit as they are ‘really thinking hard on their positions’.
The firm has already called on its customers to voluntarily turn off their hosepipes and sprinkler systems as the hot, dry weather continues.
Lee Dance, South East Water’s head of water resources, said last week: ‘Clearly, we are in a very dry and warm period and the forecast is that this may continue for a number of weeks.’
Mr Dance added: ‘We have been looking very closely at the current situation and assessing the likelihood of restrictions and other measures.
‘If our assessment reveals voluntary reduction of water use will not allow us to maintain supplies of water for essential use or to protect the environment, then we may need to impose more formal bans.’ South East Water did not respond to requests for comment last night.
The most prominent water company that has hinted it could bring in a hosepipe ban this summer is Thames Water.
The firm said in a statement last week: ‘If we do not receive around or above average rainfall in the coming months, this will increase pressure on our resources and may, indeed, result in the need for more water saving measures including restrictions.’
This week, the Met Office said southern England had experienced its driest July since records began in 1836.
South-East and central southern England saw an average of just 5mm (0.2ins) of rain last month, while East Anglia had only a fraction more with 5.4mm (0.21ins).
Most of England – with the exception of the North-West – has moved into a state of ‘prolonged dry weather’.
This is described by the Environment Agency as ‘the first stage of a drought’, raising the spectre of restrictions such as hosepipe bans.
The Isle of Man also announced a hosepipe ban last week, while Welsh Water has said it may have to bring in a similar restriction in Pembrokeshire.
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