A HOSEPIPE ban affecting 10million homes will stay in place until next year – despite weeks of heavy downpours.
That means the masses living in London and southern parts of England will likely not be able to use hosepipes for car cleaning, watering their gardens, cleaning windows, or filling swimming and paddling pools throughout the winter.
The ban came into effect late last month after Thames Water said its reservoirs were “much lower than usual”.
The company has today said that the ban, which covers the Thames Valley and its 10million homes, had been unaffected by the recent rain.
Thames Water’s water demand manager Andrew Tucker said there is no date for lifting the ban as of yet.
Mr Tucker told the BBC: “We are still trying to recover from a really tough year that Mother Nature threw at us.
“Ten of the last 12 months have been below average rainfall.
“We’ve had a little bit in September and we can see the grass is now greening up but an average September doesn’t make up for 10 months of dry and record heat.”
Mr Tucker said it was a national issue, with most of England and Wales still declared as in drought by the National Environment Agency.
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He added: “We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got enough water going forward for everyone in the longer term.”
Thames Water said reservoirs were still at their lowest levels since 2003.
It added: “Despite recent rain, rivers across our region are well below their average level and reservoirs are down by as much as 25 per cent.”
The ban was introduced as part of an effort to reduce daily demand for water by a third – from 150 litres per person to 100 litres per person.
Thames Water was one of seven companies that introduced a hosepipe ban last month – affecting 29.4 million customers across the UK.
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The ban still comes with a penalty, and those in breach of the ban could be fined £1,000.
But, there are also “crazy” loopholes in the ban – some people can still water their lawns and even fill a hot tub under restrictions.