South East Water announces temporary use hosepipe ban from Friday 12 August

Published: 03 August 2022

Good morning,

I am sure you are only too aware, this has been a time of extreme weather throughout the UK.

According to the Met Office, July was the driest in Kent since records began in 1836 and saw the lowest rainfall in Sussex since 1911.

During July we saw just eight per cent of average rainfall for the month and the long-term forecast for August and September is for similar warm, dry weather.

As the hot weather approached last month and during the record-breaking heatwave, we urged our customers to reduce their non-essential water use to ensure we could supply enough water to all.

We are extremely grateful to all our customers who have done what they can to reduce their non-essential water use. However, despite asking for this voluntary restraint water use, particularly in Kent and Sussex, remains exceptionally high.

To keep up with demand, we’ve been treating and pumping up to 120 million litres of additional water a day to customers’ taps. This is the equivalent of supplying a further four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne each day.

Due to this continued high demand, we have been left with no choice but to restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers from 00.01 on Friday 12 August in our Kent and Sussex supply area until further notice.

I am sure you will join me in agreeing by taking this step we will ensure we have enough water for both essential use while also protecting the environment, enabling us to also reduce the amount of water we need to take from already stressed local water sources.

Before this hot period, our leakage rate was at an all-time low, however as a result of very dry ground conditions and the resulting earth movement, we are seeing a 50 per cent increase in the number of burst water mains across our network. To counteract this, we've increased the number of teams out and about repairing leaks.

If you want to speak to us in more detail, please email community@southeastwater.co.uk

David Hinton,
Chief Executive Officer