Hosepipe ban: Pembrokeshire approaching drought levels after driest July since 1970s

The water company says the ban is not a decision it "takes lightly". Credit: PA

Parts of Wales are going to face a hosepipe ban amid the driest weather conditions since the 1970s.

Several bans are already underway in England with more water companies considering taking action after July saw record temperatures.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water will now impose a ‘Temporary Use Ban’ from 8am on August 19, for customers in Pembrokeshire.

The water company says the county is approaching drought levels, following the driest year since 1976, and that steps are being taken to “protect the local environment over the coming months”.

A temporary hosepipe ban restricts people from using hosepipes or sprinklers to water private gardens or wash cars. Credit: PA

It’s not a decision the company has taken lightly, its managing director has said.

Ian Christie, Welsh Water’s Managing Director of Water Services said: "If we are to make sure there is enough water to see us through the rest of the summer and into the autumn then we need to act now to try and prevent any further restrictions later on.

"The ban will apply to just over 2% of the three million population we serve in Wales. More broadly we do not intend to introduce restrictions more widely across our operating area.”

While the ban is in place, customers will not be able to use a hosepipe to carry out activities in and around their properties such as watering plants or filling paddling pools or hot tubs.

Customers are asked not to fill paddling pools during the hosepipe ban. Credit: PA

Pembrokeshire has only seen just over 60% of the expected rainfall between March and July and since becoming aware of the lower than normal rainfall, Dŵr Cymru says it has undertaken a number of activities to help conserve water in the area.

This has included increased detection and repair of leaks, plus the use of water tankers to respond to peak periods of demand in some parts of the County.Mr Christie said: "We have done a lot of work to communicate with customers in the area over the past few months about the importance of not wasting any water and we really do appreciate the steps people have already taken.

"We would urge everyone now across Pembrokeshire to respect the ban and not use a hosepipe. There are exceptions, particularly for those holding a Blue Badge or on our Priority Service Register. We will also be writing to all customers that will be affected and publicising the ban more widely in the area."

Ahead of implementing the ban, the company will run a seven day consultation period from August 10-17.

Mr Christie added: "While the ban is in place, we will continue expending every effort we can to conserve water.

"Our teams will be out around the clock finding and fixing leaks as quickly as possible. Customers can also help us here by reporting leaks to us as soon as they notice them.

"We would like to thank customers for their cooperation on this and hopefully by working together we can protect drinking water supplies and prevent any further restrictions in the near future."