Thames Water hosepipe ban to remain in place due to concerns over river levels

The ban will remain in place until river levels recover. Credit: PA / ITV Meridian

A hosepipe ban in force across the Thames Valley, London and parts of the South East will remain in place until water levels recover.

Thames Water, which supplies nearly 10 million people with fresh drinking water, says river levels are lower than usual and more rain is needed.

The ban, known as a temporary use ban, was put in place in August after an extremely dry spell of weather.

At the time the company said it was a 'very difficult decision to make'.

The area Thames Water supplies Credit: Thames Water

Why is the ban remaining in place when it has been raining?

The company says despite recent rainfall, which river levels have responded to, supplies in the region remain well below average.

The of the last twelve months (September 2021 to August 2022) have experienced below average rainfall with July been the driest since 1885, which means above average rainfall is required to replenish supplies.

Reservoir supplies are down by as much as 25% and are at their lowest level since 2003.

When could the ban end?

Unfortunately unless we see more rain, the ban will be in force for some time.

Thames Water says river levels will have to respond to rainfall and will need to rise before any decision could be made.

Over the next month the Met Office long range forecast shows a chance of more sustained rainfall, which would help the situation.

What are Thames Water doing to improve the situation?

The company says it is fixing over 1,000 leaks a week, with more than 200 repair teams out 24/7.

In August it fixed 19% more leaks than the same period in 2021. It has also sped up investment in replacing older pipes.

It says the summer drought caused pipes to shift in the ground, doubling the number of leaks, causing it additional challenges.

Customers are being urged to contact the company to report any leaks they might see, so that it can be fixed.

Flyers are also being delivered to over 3.5million households in the South East this week to encourage people to save water.