Thames Water hosepipe ban lifted due to recent above average rainfall

The 'Temporary Use Ban' policy was designed to try to give rivers and reservoirs a chance to recover. Credit: PA

A hosepipe ban for customers across the Thames Valley and London has been lifted due to recent rainfall.

The ban came into effect on the 24 August 2022 following one of the driest years on record, in which the months November 2021-October 2022 had below average rainfall.

The 'Temporary Use Ban' policy was designed to try to give rivers and reservoirs a chance to recover.

While the ban has now lifted, Thames Water has said it is still "cautious" with West London reservoirs remaining below average storage levels. 

The company has thanked its customers and businesses for their support in saving water.

This coupled with recent heavy rain has meant that river and reservoir levels have started to improve. Both September and October experienced long term average rainfall above 130% and in the first two weeks of November we have already received a months' worth of rainfall.

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO said: "We are grateful to our customers for their support in saving water during the hosepipe ban. Small changes can make a huge difference when it comes to preserving water and we’re thankful to all our customers for their efforts.

"Careful consideration has gone into our decision to remove the ban. Despite the recent rain, we still need to protect our future water supply. We need more rain throughout winter to ensure our rivers and reservoirs are fully recharged, ready for spring and summer next year.

"Storage levels are improving at many reservoirs across the region. This includes Farmoor, which supplies approximately 480,000 customers across Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, where water levels have returned to near normal levels of 87%.

"Whilst storage levels have improved at many of our reservoirs, we’re not out of the woods yet. Some sites in West London remain below average, which is why we’re adopting a cautious approach and carefully monitoring water levels throughout autumn and winter.    

"It’s also why fixing leaks remains our top priority. We’re investing millions to upgrade infrastructure across the region. This supports my Turnaround plan, which aims to transform Thames Water’s performance, improving the service our customers receive and protecting the environment.

"Our teams fix over 1,000 leaks a week- that’s one leak every 10 minutes. Thames Water will spend over £55million to further help reduce leakage and £200million replacing water mains, over the next three years."

Although the temporary use ban has now lifted, customers are still being urged to continue using less water at home.

Karen Gibbs, Consumer Council for Water's Senior Leader for the Environment, said: “Even though restrictions have been lifted for Thames Water customers, it’s still really important that people continue to use water wisely, as it will take considerable time for the environment to fully recover from the drought.”

“There also remain significant cost of living benefits to saving water which can take some of the heat out of energy and water bills, through simple steps like shortening your time in the shower or always ensuring your washing machine is fully loaded. Our website is packed with lots of tips that can help ease the pressure on the one in ten people that say their water bill is unaffordable.”