Action plan for Sussex hosepipe ban

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WITH a Sussex-wide hosepipe ban starting this week, a local council has an action plan in case it is necessary to distribute bottled water.

Horsham District Council, which covers towns and villages in the north and north-west of the Herald & Gazette’s circulation area, is ready to provide sites for water companies to store and distribute bottled water “if the situation becomes more critical”.

Southern Water is restricting water use for the first time since 2005/06, following the second-driest 12 months on record.

The use of hosepipes and sprinklers is being banned in Sussex and Kent.

The restrictions apply to Southern Water customers and primarily cover domestic, not commercial, use.

Restrictions include:

Watering of public parks, gardens and allotments.

Filling swimming pools, paddling pools, ponds and fountains.

Any apparatus connected to a hosepipe.

Nine of the past 16 months have seen below-average rainfall.

Water strategy manager Meyrick Gough said: “Thanks to improvements made to our supply network, which enables us to move water from areas with a surplus to those with a shortage, our lowest-ever leakage level, the ongoing installation of 500,000 water meters and customers being more water-efficient, we are in a better position than we would have been in these circumstances in previous years.

“But, as the weather gets warmer, the demand for water will rise and, therefore, to safeguard supplies throughout the summer we need to restrict the amount of water used in gardens.”

He said garden-watering is usually about six per cent of that supplied, but on a hot day can increase to 70 per cent.

Southern Water asks customers to save water by measures including:

Fitting a water butt in the garden to collect any rainwater – plants prefer rainwater.

Using a watering can and water the roots of plants, rather than the leaves.

Watering early in the morning or late evening when the water doesn’t just evaporate.

Fitting a water-saving device in the toilet cistern.

Taking a shower instead of a bath.

Turning off the tap when brushing teeth.

Doing a full load of washing or dishwashing, rather than a half-load

Looking out for leaks. Call Southern Water’s 24-hour freephone Leakline 0800 820999.