Water company asks users to 'save water where they can' as demand spikes

A water company which serves parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire has had to supply an extra 120 million litres per day during the coronavirus lockdown.

Affinity Water believe the increased demand is due to more people being at home because of the pandemic, combined with recent hot weather.

The company have ruled out the need for restrictions on water usage but have encouraged customers to think how they might make savings.

It has been the driest May on record in East Anglia with less than 5% of the normal rainfall.

It has also been one of the driest springs on record in the region with less than half the usual rainfall.

Water processing plants have seen an increase in demand Credit: ITV Anglia

Kevin Barton, Head of External Communications at Affinity Water, said: "The increased demand puts pressure on our water network and the environment as more water needs to be pumped up.

"We don't need a hosepipe ban this year due to the heavy autumn and winter rainfall, but its always important to save water whatever the weather brings.

"We would urge customers to continue following government guidelines on hygiene and handwashing to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

"But as they spend more time in their homes and garden, we are asking them to be mindful about their water use and to save water where they can."

The Affinity Water production site in Roydon, near Harlow Credit: ITV Anglia

Affinity Water have published some tips for saving water

  • Let the lawn go brown - it will recover in the next round of rainfall

  • Use a 'save a flush' device in the toilet

  • Try and avoid refilling outdoor pools too often - look at manufacturers' handbooks for advice on maintaining water quality

  • Install a water butt to collect rain and use it to water the garden

  • Use a watering can rather than a hose

Anglian Water, which serves a large part of the East of England, have seen a 5-10% increase in demand during the coronavirus lockdown.

Over the bank holiday weekend that figure rose to 20% - which is the equivalent of an extra 27 litres of water per person per day.