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North West slapped with hosepipe ban as leaks run area dry

Hose

United Utilities has announced a hosepipe ban in the North West in a bid to save water amid anger over the levels of leakage.

The company, which lost an average of 439ML of water due to leaks every day last year, will impose the ban on 5 August after half the usual amount of rain fell in the area during this summer’s heatwave. 

It expects the ban to save around 50ML to 100ML a day, four to eight times less than the amount it losses to leakage.  

Angry customers took to social media to complain about the restriction, and highlighted the extent of the providers water leaks.

One Twitter user moaned about a leak at the top of his road which “leaked for over three weeks without being repaired”.

The user, Ryan Green, added: “All whilst water prices are at an all-time high, as are your profits. I’ll use my hosepipe as I see fit, or not pay my bill, thanks.”

The ban applies to domestic customers who get their water supply from United Utilities, except for customers in Carlisle and north Eden Valley, and will restrict the use of hosepipes or sprinklers for watering private gardens and washing private cars. 

United Utilities water services director Martin Padley said: “Despite some recent rainfall, reservoir levels are still lower than we would expect at this time of year and, with forecasters predicting a return to hot dry weather for the rest of July, we are now at a point where we will need to impose some temporary restrictions on customers.

“It is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are enormously grateful to customers for having helped reduce the demand on our network over the last couple of weeks, but unless we get a period of sustained rainfall before 5 August these restrictions will help us safeguard essential water supplies for longer”.

The water provider added it had the power to impose fines of up to £1,000 for people who flouted the new restriction.

New Civil Engineer has contacted United Utilities for further comment. 

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