United Utilities cancels hosepipe ban

United Utilities is seeking permits to extract water from lakes as its reservoirs such as this one in Lancashire dry

United Utilities is seeking permits to extract water from lakes as its reservoirs such as this one in Lancashire dry

Heatwave conditions had caused reservoirs to run low, resulting in deminished water supply for those in the north-west.

The water company was criticised last month after it announced plans for the ban affecting 7m households and it was revealed to be the second-worst supplier for leaking pipes.

The first hosepipe ban of the summer that would have affected seven million people in England has been called off.

Why was the ban called off? .

United Utilities had said on Tuesday that there would be no U-turn on the decision to start the ban on Sunday, but it has now announced that the demand for water has eased.

Padley said leakage teams were working 24 hours a day to find and fix as many leaks as possible. The company was also making changes to operations including installing new pumping stations, pumping between reservoirs and bringing groundwater sources into use, he said.

'Given the improved position, helped by recent rainfall, we do not want to inconvenience customers unnecessarily at this time.

But in a statement, the firm's water services director Martin Padley warned that future restrictions were "still a possibility" without more rain.

"In the meantime, we are continuing to step up our own response and over the coming weeks you will see our teams out and about, bringing additional water supplies on line and fixing even more leaks. We are working closely with the Environment Agency in monitoring the water resources situation and we still urge customers to please help us by using water wisely where they can".

The weather is predicted to remain hot well into August, which whilst a treat for the United Kingdom, can have a detrimental impact on reservoir levels.

The first half of the summer was the driest on record in the United Kingdom, and last month was the third hottest July recorded, though much of the country experienced cool, wet and windy weather last weekend.

To conserve water during hot weather, water companies such as Thames Water have asked for customers to take four minute showers and use watering cans instead of hoses in the garden.

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