Hosepipe ban set for April

A HOSEPIPE ban will be brought in to force in Eastbourne at the beginning of April and Southern Water is set to increase customer’s bills by more than eight per cent.

Last month is was announced the south east was officially in drought and water companies were encouraging people to try and limit the amount they use.

The drought has come about following two particularly dry winters and now a hosepipe ban will be imposed.

Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East are to enforce restrictions. All seven companies said they will impose bans from April 5.

A ban on hosepipes means they cannot be used for recreational use. Watering cans and buckets are still allowed but the restrictions will cause problems for people filling or maintaining ponds, pools or fountains.

People in breach of the ban risk being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.

Despite the water-saving warnings and the ban, Southern Water, which provides wastewater services to the people of Eastbourne, has this week announced it will be putting up prices.

A Southern Water spokesperson said, “Although we had the biggest increase we don’t have the highest bill.

“While our charges have risen to meet the enormous cost of our investment, we have worked hard to ensure that those increases are kept to a minimum. Indeed, our average water supply bill is the lowest of the water and sewerage companies.

“Southern Water’s bills will increase by an average of £31 in 2012-13 – helping to pay for a £1.8 billion programme of service and environmental improvements, boosting the local economy and supporting thousands of jobs. As a result, the average bill for customers receiving both water and wastewater services will be £416 - a daily cost of about £1.15. The increase on last year’s average bill of £385 equates to just over £2.50 per month.

“The company’s bills which are agreed with the regulator Ofwat not only cover the day-to-day running costs of the business but also contribute to the improvement programme which is taking place from 2010 to 2015. This investment is the equivalent of spending almost £1,000 for every property in the Southern Water region, giving a big boost to the local economy at a time of economic downturn.

“By ensuring investment in our communities we are able to support thousands of jobs, while delivering improved services and a wide range of environmental improvements, such as cleaner seas and rivers.”