The move follows months of exceptionally low rainfall, making the last two years the driest period since 1900.Other water companies in the South East are also placing similar restrictions from 5 April, which demonstrates the scale of the area affected by the drought.
Veolia Water Central's Water Resources Manager Mike Pocock said the hosepipe ban was an essential first move to conserve scarce water resources and that further restrictions could follow if the drought continued.
He said: "We take most of our water from chalk aquifers and these natural sources have simply not been refilled by autumn, winter and spring rain.The levels are now well below average and we have to carefully manage the water we have to see us through the summer months."
He added: "By putting restrictions in place we aim to emphasise the situation and appeal to our customers to work with us to reduce their water use. If we all make small lifestyle changes it can make a big difference."
The hosepipe ban includes:
·watering a garden or plants
·cleaning a motor-vehicle or a private leisure boat
·filling a domestic swimming or paddling pool
·drawing water for domestic recreational use
·filling a domestic pond or ornamental fountain
·cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises
·cleaning paths or patios or other artificial outdoor surfaces
"We recognise the inconvenience that this may cause some of our customers and have listened to representations received. As a result of this we've amended some of the exceptions where we think it is fair and reasonable to do so, whilst at the same time still conserve supplies. Details can be found on our website at www.veoliawater.co.uk/drought.
"We are ensuring that our company continues to meet the leakage target set by our regulator Ofwat and we are on track to exceed it for the second year running. We want to work closely with our customers to ensure a secure water supply in drought conditions and will be promoting water saving throughout the summer."
For more details and advice as well as water saving tips see www.veoliawater.co.uk/drought
Notes to Editors:
Temporary Use Bans are imposed by a water supplier under Section 76 of the Water Industry Act 1991.
The Temporary Use Ban replaced the previous hosepipe ban 1945 legislation and has a much wider scope of restrictions that can be controlled by water companies. In all, 11 categories of use are specified within section 76(2) of the WIA 1991 (as amended by section 36 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA 2010); the categories of water use that are prohibited are:
1.watering a "garden" using a hosepipe;
2.cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe;
3.watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
4.cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe;
5.filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool;
6.drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use;
7.filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe;
8.filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain;
9.cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe;
10.cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe; and
11.cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.
A "garden" includes all of the following: a park; gardens open to the public; a lawn; a grass verge; an area of grass used for sport or recreation; an allotment garden as defined in Section 22 of the Allotments Act 1922; any area of an allotment used for non-commercial purposes; and any other green space. The definitions of words and phrases used in the Water Industry Act 1991 and the Water Use (Temporary Bans) Order 2010 apply to the Prohibitions and the Exceptions below.
The following exceptions apply to the Prohibitions:
(a) a hosepipe may be used to water an area of grass or artificial outdoor surfaces used for sport or recreation, where this is required in connection with a national or international sporting event;
(b) a hosepipe (connected to a metered water supply unless hand held at all times) may be used to water plants or gardens at domestic premises and allotment gardens:
(i) by persons holding a valid Blue Badge issued by a local authority;or
(ii) by persons who are frail or have a disability preventing them from using a water can and who do not meet the requirements of (i) above, if they register with the relevant Company.
(c) until 23:59 hours on 4 July 2012:
(i) plants may be watered on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a fixed drip or trickle irrigation watering system, connected to a metered water supply, which is fitted with a pressure reducing valve and a timer and which places water drip by drip directly onto the soil surface or beneath the soil surface, without any surface run off or dispersion of water through the air using a jet or mist; or
(ii )any person whose business was in existence before 15 March 2012 and whose income is solely dependent on cleaning:
·walls or windows at domestic premises;
·paths or patios; or
·other artificial outdoor surfaces
may use a hosepipe for these purposes;
(d) the exceptions set out in the Water Use (Temporary Bans) Order 2010.
·A hosepipe uses 160 litres of water in just ten minutes.
People found breaching the terms of the ban risk being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000
Tips on how to save water
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - this can save 6 litres of water
Using washing machines and dishwasher when you have full loads
Take a short shower instead of bath - this can save up to 60 litres of water
Fit a water butt in your garden to harvest any rainwater
Order your free water saving devices and get lots more advice here: www.veoliawater.co.uk/savewater
Veolia Water Central takes 60% of its water supply from under-ground aquifers (a natural underground reservoir). The remaining 40% of water supplies come from surface water sources: the River Thames and the Grafham Water reservoir.
Under-ground water aquifers are replenished with rainfall between October and March.
Rainfall during spring and summer months tends to be absorbed by natural vegetation or it evaporates - very rarely does rainfall in this period replenish underground sources.
Rainfall during autumn 2010/winter 2011was 65% of long-term average
Rainfall during autumn 2011 was only 44% of long-term average
Rainfall during autumn 2011 and winter 2012 so far, is 60% of long-term average.
Veolia Water is on track to meet its leakage target set by its regulator, Ofwat. The company has more recently seen as much 10 per cent in additional savings off the target.
For further information please contact Becky Martin or Sue Pavey on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: [email protected], website:www.veoliawater.co.uk/news
Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.
For more information visit www.veoliawater.co.uk/central or follow us on www.twitter.com/veoliawateruk