Hosepipe ban remains in place across BracknellBy Becky Barnes
June 14, 2012
The hosepipe ban remains in full force across the borough despite several southern water companies lifting the ban today.
South East Water confirmed it will continue hosepipe restrictions after Thames Water, Anglian Water and Southern Water announced yesterday they would lift the ban at midnight thanks to “extraordinary” rainfall.Thames Water hosepipe ban ends tonight
However, with groundwater resources still low, while Thames Water customers in Windsor, Reading and half of Wokingham have been advised to “use water wisely”, Bracknell residents supplied by South East Water still cannot use their hosepipes.
This is because the water company “heavily relies” on its groundwater sources which supply 75 per cent of their customers.
Paul Seeley, asset director at South East Water, said: “We hope our customers understand why we are taking the action we are.
“These depleted reserves still need to see us through the summer, if it ever arrives, while we must also plan for the possibility of a third dry winter.”
The hosepipe ban was imposed on April 5 after two warm and dry winters, but following this, April was the wettest on record and heavy downpours continued through May and June.
South East Water said that while recent rainfall has boosted river and reservoir levels, it has had little impact on the region’s groundwater sources, many of which remain at “severe” levels.
While South East Water would not usually expect the reserves to refill before the autumn, it said that “anything is possible” should the wet weather continue.
Despite other water companies choosing to lift the ban, all customers have been urged to watch their water use.
Richard Aylard, sustainability director for Thames Water, said: “We still need to be careful.
“We don’t need a ban, but we do need to ask everyone to keep on using water wisely.
“So if you’ve bought a water butt this year, please keep using it.
“If you’ve started taking shorter showers, please keep it up.”
Gardeners across the borough are some of those who have had to make compromises to keep their gardens blooming while the hosepipe ban lasts.
Andy Maxwell, events co-ordinator at Bracknell Horticultural Association, said: “We recognise that a hosepipe ban can be an inconvenience to gardeners during the summer months, and as water customers we are concerned about the wider issue of water wastage being tackled comprehensively by the water companies.
“However we believe that it is right to retain the ban, at present, to ensure our valuable water resources are available for essential use without the need for further restrictions.
“We encourage our members, and the wider gardening community, to adopt alternative means of sourcing water through water butts and rain harvesting, and to think seriously about the steps they can take in their gardens and allotments to make gardening more resilient to measures like hosepipe bans.”