Hosepipes bans have been introduced in Sussex and Kent with many other areas of the UK set to follow.
The decision was made by South East Water who announced that due to exceptionally high demand for drinking water in June, similar to last year's drought, it has been compelled to take action in an attempt at saving water supplies.
Since Monday, approximately 4,000 customers have been facing water shortages or reduced water pressure due to supply problems, prompting the decision by the water company.
What is included in the hosepipe ban?
An immediate ban has been placed on residents in Sussex and Kent on using hosepipes and sprinklers.
This means that activities such as watering gardens, cleaning cars, and filling swimming pools are now prohibited.
Initially, South East Water had urged people to limit their water usage to essential purposes, however, due to limiting water supply this has now been escalated. Families have been urged to collect rainwater where possible (check out our water butts guide) to water the garden instead.
To ensure compliance, the water company has decided to enforce a Temporary Usage Ban. However, this ban can only be put into effect after a ten-day consultation period, implying that starting from 26th June, individuals who violate the ban may face a fine of £1,000.
What other areas are affected?
Several areas, including Wadhurst, Mayfield, Biddenden, and Staplehurst, have been adversely affected by water outages.
As a response, bottle stations have been established throughout the affected regions. It is anticipated that the supply issues will persist until Sunday.
South East Water's response to the crisis
South East Water has confirmed that all its water treatment facilities and sources are operating at maximum capacity, ensuring a continuous supply of treated water to meet the rising demand.
Despite these efforts, the company expressed its inability to replenish drinking water storage tanks to satisfactory levels. The demand for water has surpassed all previous records, including those observed during the heatwaves experienced during the Covid lockdown.
To tackle this situation, South East Water has managed to generate an additional 120 million litres of water per day. To put this into perspective, it is equivalent to supplying four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne.
The company serves a population of 2.3 million people spanning across Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Kent. According to Stephen Dixon, a spokesperson from the Met Office, the remainder of this week is expected to be hotter than the average for this time of year across the entire UK.
In East Sussex, temperatures could climb up to 29°C on Friday, while certain areas in Kent might experience a maximum temperature of 27°C on Saturday.
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News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals. Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.