Thames Water to impose hosepipe ban on 15 million from August 24

Thames Water will impose hosepipe ban on 15 million customers across London and South East from August 24

Thames Water has announced a hosepipe ban for 15 million customers from next week.

The ban is set to come into effect from August 24 in the wake of what Thames Water called ‘unprecedented conditions’ and the driest July in 135 years.

It comes despite Thames Water admitting they lose more than 635 million litres of water a day through leaks and inefficient water usage.

As drought was officially confirmed across several regions of the UK last week, including Kent and South London, water companies are increasingly coming under fire from angry customers for imposing hosepipe bans after repeatedly failing to fix leaks.

 But Thames Water has insisted today that they have ‘more teams reducing leakage than ever before’, who they say are ‘working 24/7 to find and fix more than 1,100 leaks every week’.

Thames Water has announced a hosepipe ban for 15 million customers from next week

Dried out grass on Greenwich Park in South East London is pictured this morning as the heatwave continues

Dry grass at Blackheath in South East London is pictured this morning as the heatwave continues 

A statement on the company’s website said: ‘We’ve been working around the clock to supply everyone, and customers have been brilliant at saving water where they can. But, with low rainfall forecast for the coming months, we now need to take the next step in our drought plan.

‘Everything we do now will help protect supplies next summer and help the environment.

‘We know these restrictions impact your day-to-day activities around your home and beyond, and we’re grateful for your support.’

The temporary use ban comes after reports of the River Thames reaching its lowest level since 2005 and ‘unprecedented weather conditions’.

The ban means customers cannot use any hosepipe including sprinklers, dripper hoses and automatic irrigation systems for watering the garden or plants; cleaning a car, walls, paths or patios; or filling a pool, pond or fountain.

However they can still do any of these activities if they use mains water from a bucket or watering can, or use water that is not sourced from the mains such as greywater or rainwater from a water butt through a hosepipe.

Pictured: Parched grass at St Nicholas’ Park in Warwick is pictured last week

A Royals Parks worker using a hose to water plants at Hyde Park in London last Wednesday

Meanwhile, another hosepipe ban was announced yesterday for Cornwall and parts of Devon, with South West Water will be bringing in the policy in just over a week’s time.

Four water companies – Manx Water, Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water – have already imposed bans, while Yorkshire Water said one will start on August 26. 

A drought was declared for parts of England last week following the driest summer for 50 years that has almost completely deprived some areas of rainfall. 

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO said: ‘Implementing a Temporary Use Ban for our customers has been a very difficult decision to make and one which we have not taken lightly.

‘After months of below average rainfall and the recent extreme temperatures in July and August, water resources in our region are depleted.

‘Despite investing in the largest leakage reduction programme in the UK, customer demand is at unprecedented levels and we now have to move into the next phase of our drought plan to conserve water, mitigate further risk and futureproof supplies.

‘I’d like to thank all of our customers for the efforts they have already made to conserve water as a result of the media campaign we have been running since May. Reducing demand means reducing the amount of water we have to take from the environment at a time when it is under pressure.

‘I would also like to apologise to our customers who have been affected by recent incidents, our dedicated colleagues are working around the clock to manage this challenging situation.’

This is a breaking news story. We will bring you more information as soon as it is available. 

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