Southern Water to impose hosepipe ban in Hampshire next week
SOME New Forest households will be banned from using hosepipes next week in a countywide response to the drought.
Southern Water is bringing in a "temporary use ban" for its customers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from Friday 5th August, the first since 2012.
Locally that includes households on the Waterside, Totton and some in the north and centre of the district.
The utility company said river flows are about 25% lower than normal for July – which it equated to losing more than 25-million bathtubs of water.
The record breaking temperatures during the current heatwave have led to one of the regions’s driest years for a century, Southern Water said, with the consequent drought and increased use threatening to damage habitats of the River Test and River Itchen unless it takes action to reduce demand.
Under the ban, using hosepipes will no longer be permitted to water gardens or clean cars and ornamental ponds and swimming pools must not be filled.
As reported in the A&T, a 2021 performance report by the Environment Agency on UK water and sewerage companies said Southern Water's performance was “terrible across the board”, and raised questions about the security of its supply and its planning.
However, a Southern Water spokesperson stressed there was no currently "direct risk" to customer water supply.
Alison Hoyle, director of risk and compliance at Southern Water, said: “We haven’t taken this decision lightly and we know the temporary use ban will have an impact on our customers.
"We’re working with the Environment Agency to ensure that we act responsibly to protect our environment.
"We’re asking everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to do their bit by supporting these measures and only use the water that they need."
She added: “We’re experiencing one of the driest years on record for over a century and we’ve seen record temperatures.
"We're asking our customers to help protect our rivers and the habitats that live there by cutting back their water use. We believe a Temporary Use Ban is a responsible and vital step to reducing the amount of water being taken from the Rivers Test and Itchen.”
Southern Water said it was spending £2bn between 2020 and 2025 to reduce pollution incidents and improve its network, by fixing, upgrading, and expanding its network across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent and Sussex.
For more information, visit southernwater.co.uk/drought-restrictions