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UK heatwave: latest update

Above average rainfall in spring this year means water supplies across the UK are generally healthy – Britain is not about to go into a drought. However, demand for water remains extremely high throughout the current heatwave, so water companies are continuing to ask everyone to please use water wisely. This is to help avoid a drop in water pressure at peak times, when water might come out of the taps at a much slower rate than normal.

Although most water companies in the UK do not anticipate the need for hosepipe bans to reduce demand this summer, two have taken action. Northern Ireland Water placed a hosepipe ban earlier this year that it has now been able to lift thanks to reduced demand, while United Utilities – which covers the North West of England – has been saying for a number of weeks it may need to impose a hosepipe ban as the unusually high level of demand and dry weather continues. To help safeguard essential water supplies, the company has confirmed a ban will come into force on Sunday 5 August, unless the North West gets a period of sustained rainfall.

During this warm period, water is often being used by customers as fast as it can be put back into the system. At peak times, companies are seeing demand rise above the usual summer increases by as much as 30% in some areas. By making a few simple changes to the way they use water, customers can make sure this increase in demand doesn’t have an impact on water pressure.

Using water wisely helps to look after the environment too. Because the water that comes out of our taps originates from rivers and other sources in the environment, each drop we use is directly related to the amount of water left in the environment. While it is tempting to use more water in the hot weather, this can have a considerable impact on your local environment and the wildlife living there.

Some of the most effective water saving tactics are the easiest to deploy. Take a look at our top tips below:

  1. Take a shower instead of a bath – the average shower uses 40 litres less water than a bath.
  2. If you’d rather take a bath, running it just one inch shallower can save 5 litres of water – twice your daily intake through drinking.
  3. Lawns do not need constant watering – a sprinkler can use as much as 1,000 litres of clean drinking water in a single hour; more than a family of four would use in a whole day.
  4. Turn off the tap – you can save six litres of water a minute by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth.
  5. Check for leaks in your home – if you have a dripping tap or a leaky pipe in your house you could be dripping away money, particularly if you are on a meter.
  6. Visit your water company’s website – they will have more tips and may even offer free water saving products.

Companies continue to monitor the situation closely and are taking action to manage the network. Additional leakage detection teams are being deployed across the country, and any non-essential use of water by companies is being cut back.

By using water wisely, we can all help the situation get better.

 

Water UK Communications
0207 344 1805