Thames Water has announced a hosepipe ban from Wednesday 24 August.

You should not use a hose to water your garden, allotment or plants; fill or maintain your paddling pool, swimming pool or hot tub; clean your vehicles; clean windows, walls, paths, patios and other artificial outdoor surfaces like artificial grass or for recreational use like water fights and water slides.

The ban applies to hosepipes, and anything attached to them, like sprinklers and jet washers.

You can use mains water from a watering can or bucket instead of a hose.

The driest July since 1885, the hottest temperatures on record, and the River Thames reaching its lowest level since 2005 have led to a drop in reservoir levels across the region.

The recent heatwave and extreme temperatures have resulted in the highest demand for more than 25 years with the company supplying 2.9 billion litres of water a day to customers across the region.

While the Temporary Use Ban does not cover businesses, Thames Water is asking businesses across its area to be mindful of the drought and to use water wisely, such as not washing commercial vehicles and turning off water features on their properties.

Thames Water supplies London and the Thames Valley, as well as area of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO said: "Implementing a Temporary Use Ban for our customers has been a very difficult decision to make and one which we have not taken lightly.

"After months of below average rainfall and the recent extreme temperatures in July and August, water resources in our region are depleted.

"Despite investing in the largest leakage reduction programme in the UK, customer demand is at unprecedented levels and we now have to move into the next phase of our drought plan to conserve water, mitigate further risk and futureproof supplies.

"I'd like to thank all of our customers for the efforts they have already made to conserve water as a result of the media campaign we have been running since May.

"Reducing demand means reducing the amount of water we have to take from the environment at a time when it is under pressure.

"I would also like to apologise to our customers who have been affected by recent incidents, our dedicated colleagues are working around the clock to manage this challenging situation."

Thames Water says it is fixing more than 1,100 leaks on its 20,000 mile network every week and has met its leakage reduction targets for the past three years.

In addition to the large leakage reductions, it is estimated a Temporary Use Ban will help save up to a further 10 per cent of water.


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