People urged to use less water after demand spike during heatwave

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Garden watering stock - (Copyright PA Archive)
21:29pm, Sat 08 Aug 2020
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A water company has said that some customers have been without tap water after a spike in demand during the hot weather.

South East Water urged its customers to put away their hose pipes, garden sprinklers and garden water toys.

Despite producing an extra 150 million litres of drinking water a day, the company saw a spike in demand on Friday which outstripped the amount that could be pumped through the network.

The spike in the amount of water consumed by Kent and Sussex residents, and visitors on their staycations, had put a strain on the network.

Some people had very low pressure or no water at all.

South East Water tweeted: We’re sorry to customers in Bolney who are experiencing low water pressure or no water. Our teams are working hard to restore supplies asap.”

After closing its bottled water station at The Rawson Hall in Bolney on Saturday night, the company added: “We expect all customers to have supplies restored overnight, but we’ll restock in the morning if needed. Once again, we’re very sorry to all customers affected.”

South East Water’s head of central operations Steve Andrews said: “Our water technicians have been working round the clock to produce this extra drinking quality water needed – the equivalent of filling to the brim almost half a million baths  – but with this record amount of water being used daily it is getting harder to keep up.”

He explained that water is a fresh product which is produced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It is drawn from deep underground or from rivers and then has to be treated to “a very high standard” at a water treatment works before being sent along miles of pipe to homes and businesses.

South East Water said the average paddling pool needs 530 litres of water to fill them – more than three times the total daily amount of water usually used by one person.

Mr Andrews appealed to every one – household and businesses – “to keep water for essential use only while the heat is on this weekend and next week”.

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