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South East Water defends ban

Despite the week's downpours, water restrictions stay in place Photo: PA

On the day two water companies in the South announce restrictions are to be lifted, South East Water says it will keep it's hosepipe bans in place while it monitors water levels. The company insists that despite record rainfall in April, and a month's downpour in just one day this week, it has made little impact on the region's groundwater sources, many of which remain at severe levels.

The company's full statement:

South East Water will keep temporary use bans in place as it continues to carefully monitor water levels.

While recent rainfall has boosted river and reservoir levels, it has had little impact on the region’s groundwater sources, many of which remain at severe levels.

As these provide 75 per cent of all customers’ water supplies South East Water is not in a position to remove water restrictions and instead continues to carefully follow its Drought Plan to ensure it is prepared for the risk of a third dry winter.

The Company would not normally expect to see the vital underground reserves re-fill properly until the autumn, but if the current wet weather continues anything is possible and therefore they continue to monitor the levels closely and keep the restrictions under review.

Paul Seeley, Asset Director at South East Water, said: “All water companies must stick to their drought management plans which are agreed with our regulators. Just as those companies who are now in a position to withdraw their restrictions will be following theirs, so must we comply with ours and retain them.

“We hope our customers understand why we are taking the action we are – these depleted reserves still need to see us through the summer, if it ever arrives, while we must also plan for the possibility of a third dry winter.”

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for the extraordinary efforts they have made so far, while reassuring them that we are prudently managing the water resources we do have and as soon as we are confident the groundwater sources have recovered we will remove the restrictions.”

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