Thames Water lifts hosepipe ban for millions after days of heavy rain

22 November 2022, 15:17

A month’s worth of rain fell in the first two weeks of November
A month’s worth of rain fell in the first two weeks of November. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Thames Water has lifted a hosepipe ban affecting millions of people after downpours replenished rivers and reservoirs in the South East.

The ban, which had been in place since August, meant people living in the Thames Valley, London and surrounding areas faced £1,000 fines for watering their gardens.

But a month’s worth of rain fell in the first two weeks of November - after a dry summer.

Sarah Bentley, CEO of Thames Water, said: "Careful consideration has gone into our decision to remove the ban.

"Despite the recent rain, we still need to protect our future water supply.

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"We need more rain throughout winter to ensure our rivers and reservoirs are fully recharged, ready for spring and summer next year."

However Thames Water signalled “ a cautious approach is still required with West London reservoirs remaining below average storage levels .”

Farmoor, which supplies approximately 480,000 customers across Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, now has near normal water levels of 87%.

Sarah added: “Whilst storage levels have improved at many of our reservoirs, we’re not out of the woods yet. Some sites in West London remain below average, which is why we’re adopting a cautious approach and carefully monitoring water levels throughout autumn and winter.    

“It’s also why fixing leaks remains our top priority. We’re investing millions to upgrade infrastructure across the region. This supports my Turnaround plan, which aims to transform Thames Water’s performance, improving the service our customers receive and protecting the environment.

“Our teams fix over 1,000 leaks a week- that’s one leak every 10 minutes. Thames Water will spend over £55million to further help reduce leakage and £200million replacing water mains, over the next three years.” 

Customers are being urged to continue using less water at home. Simple switches like taking shorter showers and fully loading washing machines will help protect future supplies and save customers money on their energy bills too. 

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