UK heatwave update: Water users urged to use water prudently following hosepipe bans by two water companies

The water use in the summer in UK is mainly gathered in the winter and spring. Above average rainfall in spring this year indicate generally healthy water supplies across UK, but demand for water has been extremely high during the heatwave in July. Water companies have increased the amount of water they are treating and putting into the system to meet heightened demand, but in order to maintain water pressure levels and reduce the possibility of restrictions like hosepipe bans, water companies are urging everyone to use water wisely.

Although most water companies in the UK do not expect the need for hosepipe bans, two companies have already taken extra steps to secure supplies. Northern Ireland Water had a hosepipe ban earlier this summer, which it lifted when demand for water was successfully reduced. United Utilities – which covers the North West of England – has planned a hosepipe ban to start in the first week of August, but thanks to reduced demand, increased rainfall in the North West and re-prioritised work to manage the network, they decided not to put the ban in place at the moment.

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