Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

North West slapped with hosepipe ban as leaks run area dry


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. 

Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here. 

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.