11:24AM, Monday 09 July 2018
Thames Water has asked its customers to refrain from using sprinklers and hosepipes because of high demand in the hot weather.
The extended heatwave means homes are using more water and the supplier is urging its customers to ‘slow down – especially in the garden’.
Thames Water is pumping an extra 450 million litres of water into its network to cope with the demand.
Last Sunday (July 2) saw the highest ever level of water use across the Slough, Wycombe and Aylesbury water supply zone.
Although there is enough water to go round at the moment, the high volume of usage is causing some people to experience low water pressure.
Lawrence Gosden, Thames Water chief operating officer, said: “A garden sprinkler uses as much water in an hour as a family of four need for day, and your grass will soon recover.”
“So please give yourself a break from washing the car and watering the lawn, and take shorter showers this weekend.”
South East Water, which also supplies Berkshire, said water usage can increase by more than 50 per cent in hot weather and thanked users for cutting down.
David Hinton, asset and regulation director at South East Water, said: “Thank you to everyone who has been cutting down on the amount of water they use since this prolonged period of hot weather kicked off.
He added: “Just like a motorway that becomes congested when large numbers are headed in the same direction at the same time, our water network simply cannot travel around our network quickly enough if everyone turns on the tap, puts on the dishwasher or washing machine, flushes the toilet or turns on the garden hose particularly during the peak evening period from 5pm to 7pm.
“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.
“In the garden a sprinkler can use up to 1,000 litres of drinking water in just one hour – that’s more than a family of six would use in a whole day so we are asking gardeners to replace them with a watering can.
“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.
People using sprinklers to revive what they believe is a wilting lawn is not necessary, according to Coral Russell, Turfgrass Growers Association manager.
She said: “Going brown is the natural survival mechanism of grass. When water is in short supply, grass responds by shutting down and turning a brown colour showing that it has stopped growing until more favourable conditions return.”
“Grass is remarkably resilient, and as long as you follow a few basic rules, most lawns will recover completely when the rain finally arrives.”
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