Advice on using water wisely during the heatwave

Using hoses and sprinklers in hot weather can use up large amounts of water
Using hoses and sprinklers in hot weather can use up large amounts of water

As temperatures rise across Sussex two water companies that cover the county have sent out advice on making every drop count.

South East Water says during a hot spell the average amount of water each person uses each day can increase by more than 50 per cent.

A spokesperson said: ”That can not only mean a slightly higher bill for customers, it puts pressure on our water network and the reserves of the natural resource we all rely on as more water is put into the system to meet demand.”

Dr Simon Earl, Operations Director at South East Water, said: “While our reservoirs and underground water sources are in a good position as we start the summer season, we all need to be mindful of how much water we are using day-to-day, whatever the weather.

“There’s very simple things we can do during a hot period to limit the amount of extra water we use and make sure none is wasted.

“Of course, it’s essential to keep hydrated, so fill a covered jug and pop it in the fridge ready to make cool drinks. This means you don’t have to run the tap until it’s cold enough for a single serving.

“Children love a paddling pool in the garden, but keep it covered when not in use to reduce evaporation and keep it free from bugs and leaves, so it needs changing and topping up less often. When you’re done, encourage the kids to help with garden watering by filling the watering can with the leftover water – don’t throw it over the lawn, it won’t need the drenching and other plants will prefer benefit.

“Gardeners are already very good at keeping their veg patches and flower beds moist by using rainwater stored in water butts, but in hot weather it is tempting to use a hosepipe or sprinkler.

“A sprinkler can use up to 1,000 litres of drinking water in just one hour – that’s more than a family of four would use in a whole day. While most people can keep their garden blooming with a watering can, if you do need to use a sprinkler, put it on the lowest volume setting, if it has one, and only use it for very short periods early morning and late evening, when you will again lose less to evaporation. And also, don’t worry about the lawn going brown – it will soon recover as soon as we get the next round of good rainfall – with Wimbledon due to start soon that might not be far off.

“We don’t know how long the hot weather will last, so we all want to enjoy it while we can. We all just need to be aware of how and when we use our water – our greatest natural resource.”

Southern Water says: “With temperatures rising and a heatwave sweeping across the UK, we are hitting peak demand for water. Water is a precious resource and it’s important that we all do what we can to reduce wastage, come rain or shine.

“This can include simple measures such as turning off taps when you’re brushing your teeth, swapping a bath for a four-minute shower and watering your garden with harvested rain can make a huge difference to water supply levels across the region.

“The good news is, our resources are currently at healthy levels across the region, and we are unlikely to need to impose a temporary use ban this summer. However, should this dry weather continue over the longer term, we do have clear plans in place to make sure we’re fully prepared and we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.

“Our work to protect water resources includes an increased focus on fixing leaks on our 13,700-kilometre network of water mains. Following our ground-breaking universal metering programme, our customers now use around 16% less water than they did in 2010.