Hosepipe ban still in place despite rain

Heavy rain in the North West over the past two days hasn't been enough to end the hosepipe ban.

After the driest first half of the year in the North West, water provider United Utilities say were forced to implement the hosepipe ban for their private customers in homes across Merseyside and Ellesmere Port.

It came into force at 6am Friday July 9, being the first ban in the region in 14 years with the warning anyone caught ignoring the ban could be landed with a £1000 fine.

Spokesperson for UU said, "The rainfall in last 48 hours has been welcome, but we will need further sustained rainfall before we see reservoir levels recovering back towards normal, particularly in the Pennines.
This welcome rain is starting to re-wet the ground that has completely dried out due to the very low rainfall in the past 7 months - more rain is needed to fully re-wet the ground and then we will then see the rainfall running off into reservoirs rather than just been soaked up by the parched the soils and moorland vegetation."

We are monitoring the reservoir levels on a daily basis and we will lift the hosepipe ban as soon as levels recover back towards normal."

It comes as United Utilities say they are doing more to reduce the amount of leaks in the system, with 465m litres per day being lost through broken pipes.

John Sanders, United Utilities Water Regulation and Strategy Manager, said: "Despite some recent rainfall in the north of the region, reservoir levels are still significantly lower than we would expect at this time of year and are now at a point where we need to impose some temporary restrictions on our customers.

"It is not a decision we have taken lightly, but a hosepipe can use as much water in an hour as a family of four would use in one day. 

"This ban will help us to safeguard essential water supplies to our customers if the drought continues. "

John continues: "There are some simple things we can all do such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and running washing machines and dishwashers with a full load.”

With relation to the 2007 figures about the amount of water lost by the company, making them the third worst in the country for the amount of water wasted, United Utilities say that they have: "Halved the amount of water which leaks from its network since privatisation and met our leakage target for the past four years."

If you know of a leak you can report it on the free leakline on 0800 33 00 33 where the company say they will respond within 24-hours.  Also the company will fix leaks within the boundary of peoples gardens for free as well.  This doesn't include leaks inside or under the property.