Time to put away those hosepipes

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The hosepipe ban comes into effect in Eastbourne today (Thursday) after more unseasonably warm and dry month.

March saw less than half the average rainfall expected for the month, combined with high temperatures – a repeat of the trend for the last two winters which have also seen well below average rainfall.

Eastbourne residents will be prevented from using hosepipes for watering their gardens, washing cars, patios and boats and from filling swimming and paddling pools, ponds and fountains.

South East Water is among six other water companies which have announced that temporary use bans will be needed to further protect local water supplies.

Initially, the company had proposed concessions, including allowing over 65s to use a hosepipe for garden watering and also allowing the watering of newly- laid turf for 28 days.

However, as a result of earlier consultation responses, and following a record-breaking dry March, South East Water has now removed these.

Lee Dance from South East Water, said, “A number of customers over 65, contacted us to say they wanted to help play their part during this drought by putting the hosepipe away. They can still use a watering can on their garden plants.

“However, in common with other water companies, we will allow the use of hosepipes by customers who have severe mobility problems and who hold a current Blue Badge, as issued by their local authority.

“The restrictions are regrettable, but necessary, to protect supplies for the coming months for essential use of drinking, washing and cooking and to minimise the impact on the water environment.”

The company warns that if the situation does not significantly improve, it may have to remove existing concessions, and introduce even wider restrictions, to protect both customers’ water supplies and the water environment.

Mr Dance said, “We do not take the introduction of these restrictions lightly and are keen to work with those affected to help make the impact as minimal as possible – but we must all do our bit to save water.

“Our role is to help ensure the available water resources are used sparingly.

“We are giving people all of the information and advice they need, so they can change how they use water in some areas of their life now, to ensure supplies are available for the essential needs .

“We will work with local communities to ensure we all have enough water. We can’t make it rain, but we can all do our bit now.”