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Water warning for Kent as South East Water says some homes are losing supplies

A major water company says some homes have been left with no water supplies after record-breaking demand during the current heatwave.

South East Water issued a warning yesterday urging people only to use what is necessary - with customers responding and cutting the use of millions of litres of water.

Only use the water you need, water companies are urging as supplies run low
Only use the water you need, water companies are urging as supplies run low

But the firm which operates across the county, says more must be done to prevent serious problems.

It warns demand for water has outstripped how much can be pumped through its network.

This has left households in some areas with low pressure or no water.

It is urging customers to not use hosepipes, sprinklers and jet-washers during the weekend - and only using tap water for "drinking, hygiene and cooking".

It follows a similar appeal yesterday by Southern Water.

Water usage so far in August. Graphic: South East Water
Water usage so far in August. Graphic: South East Water

Steve Andrews, head of central operations for South East Water, said: “Our customers responded brilliantly and cut demand by 30 million litres by reducing non-essential water use on Saturday, but we need to keep this up and reduce it still further.

“When demand is this high, we simply can’t treat enough raw water and get it through the extensive network of pipes to all customers, especially at peak times.

“Overnight our water treatment works are running at near-capacity to replenish supplies into underground storage reservoirs, but at this rate of demand the system simply can’t catch up.

“Our water technicians have been working round the clock to produce this extra drinking quality water needed - the equivalent of filling to the brim almost half a million baths– and we’ve been fixing as many leaks as we can on our extensive network.

“By not using water-guzzling garden hoses and sprinklers as well as not jet-washing the car and patio, everyone can do their bit for their community.

Steve Andrews of South East Water
Steve Andrews of South East Water

“There sounds like we should have a break in the weather next week which will bring your garden some welcome rain so please only water plants that really need it and definitely no sprinklers – your golden lawn will bounce back.

“Avoid filling a paddling pool. I was shocked to be told that the average paddling pool now needs a whopping 530 litres of water to fill them - more than three times the total daily amount of water usually used by one person. This is adding to the high demand for water seen during this hot summer weather.”

The hot weather is expected to continue until Thursday.

For all the forecasts, warnings and weather related news, click here.

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