South East Water technicians worked through the night to restore water supplies in Kent after a surge in demand caused by the hot weather led to some customers in the TN2 area having no water or low pressure for a few hours.
David Hinton, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Lots of us are spending more time at home and along with the warm weather we've seen customers using water differently and an increased demand for tap water in our area which is more akin to the patterns we see in a very hot summer.”
Ensuring there is enough water for everyone, South East Water’s key workers have been treating and pumping an additional 78 million litres of water a day through its network – the equivalent of 14 million extra toilet flushes each day.
David said: “Our key worker teams will continue to work around the clock this bank holiday weekend and beyond to look after the water network, but we are asking everyone to help each other by taking simple steps, such as not watering lawns, not washing cars and reusing paddling pool water to help make sure there is enough water for our communities.
“More water is being used on DIY projects and gardening which is contributing to the additional 14 per cent of water we're treating and pumping through our vast network of underground pipes.
"Garden sprinklers alone use as much water in an hour as a family of six uses in a day which contributes to an increased demand of 70 per cent on hot days.
“This extra water use puts an increasing strain on the extensive network of pipes, pumping stations and treatment works we look after and it can lead to low pressure or a loss of water for some customers at times of peak demand such as the early evening.”
South East Water supplies, on average, 520 million litres of top quality drinking water every day from its 93 treatment works and via 9,000 miles of underground pipes, to 2.2 million customers across parts of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey.
For water saving tips along with water efficiency freebies and including free sunflower seeds go to www.southeastwater.co.uk/savewater
Top tips to help you save water in the garden:
Top up the paddling pool - instead of refilling it every day. When you're finished, use the water on your plants and grass so none goes to waste
Brown lawns are fine – they will bounce back and they are a great indicator you are doing your bit for your community!
Get some Swell Gel - Water your pots and hanging baskets either early in the morning or during the evening to reduce evaporation in the midday sun. Add some Swell Gel to them to help retain water and release it slowly which is better for your plants (see South East Water’s website to order some free Swell Gel)
Buy water efficient plants - If you are buying new plants now the garden centres are open look out for water efficient plants that still brighten your garden
Be pot savvy - If you’re potting up or planting containers, use ones made from plastic, glazed terracotta or wood. These tend to lose less water than bare terracotta. Bury a short length of pipe into your pot; if you water into the tube the water goes directly to the roots where the plant needs it most
Mulch weeds away - Use mulches like bark chips or gravel to retain moisture and keep weeds down.
Top tips to save water in the home:
- Only use dishwashers and washing machines of full loads
- Take a shower instead of a bath
- If you do use a bath, use less water
- Fix dripping taps and leaky loos
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.