Water relief - hosepipe ban lifted

THE hosepipe ban slapped on Hertfordshire for the past three months was today (Monday) lifted.

The temporary use ban came into force on April 5, following two consecutive autumn and winters of below average rainfall.

But since the ban was introduced Veolia Water Central, the rain has been almost non-stop, which has reduced demand and allowed the firm’s groundwater supplies to recover enough to allow restrictions to come to an end.

Mike Pocock, water resources manager at Veolia Water, thanked customers for their “incredible support”, and apologised for inconvenience caused by the ban.

He said: “Veolia Water Central takes most of its water from natural underground chalk reservoirs, called aquifers, which take longer to respond to rainfall, as the water has to permeate through soil and rocks, which has taken some weeks.

“Although the exceptional levels of recent rainfall have resulted in an unusually high top up of groundwater for this time of year, the critical period for recharging our aquifers is between October and March, when less rainfall is lost to plant growth, evaporation and run off to rivers.”

Mr Pocock warned while the hosepipe ban was being lifted, customers should still try to conserve water where possible.

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He said: “It must be stressed that groundwater levels still remain lower than normal, so we are asking our customers to continue to use water wisely.

“We will need prolonged and substantial rainfall, particularly during the next autumn and winter period, to restore our groundwater to normal levels.

“A third dry autumn and winter would make a hosepipe ban next year a possibility”.

Veolia Water Cental is one of the last four firms lifting restrictions today. The others are Veolia Water Southeast, South East Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water.

Royston and the surrounding area has now fallen back in line with South Cambridgeshire as the region’s water supplier, Cambridge Water, did not enforce a ban.