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South East water firms work to combat shortages


WATER COMPANIES in the South East said this week they were bringing work forward in a bid to head off supply shortfalls this summer.

Southern Water and Three Valleys both said they were accelerating work, while others have already imposed hosepipe bans.

'We are refurbishing and improving pumping plant and reconfi guring old water sources to ensure we are securing the maximum allowable volumes, ' said Three Valleys Water project manager Ian Newbury.

Southern Water has fast tracked several schemes. 'We are bringing a borehole at Northbrook - that was last used in the early '90s - back into service in time for the summer, which will give us an additional 7M litres/day, ' said operations director Trevor Cook.

'We are also reinforcing a pipe which will allow us to move water to reservoirs usually fed by Weir Wood, which is only 46% full.

Instead we will use surface water from the River Rother and rest Weir Wood, ' he said.

Seven of the 26 water supply companies in England and Wales have imposed hosepipe bans, including Thames Water and Folkestone & Dover Water, which this week announced bans from April. Three Valleys is considering imposing restrictions.

Rainfall in the South East has been well below average since November 2004 (News last week).

Other companies are also carrying out work to ensure supplies are maintained. 'We have carried out additional work to allow us to move water around the supply network, ' said South East Water.

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