Last hosepipe ban in UK finally lifted after 13 months

Last hosepipe ban in UK finally lifted 13 months on after summer washout across Devon and Cornwall

  • South West Water confirmed that the ban it imposed will finally come to an end

The last hosepipe ban in the UK will finally be lifted after a staggering 13 months – thanks to recent downpours.

South West Water confirmed yesterday that the ban it imposed across Devon and Cornwall last August will finally come to an end.

At the time it was one of several companies imposing restrictions on using hosepipes to water gardens and wash cars.

But while others lifted their bans, South West Water kept its in place due to low levels in its reservoirs through winter and into this summer. It said that rain and customers reducing their use of water meant it could lift the ban.

Heavy rain, which saw the south west receiving 42 per cent more rain than average in July and 27 per cent more in the six months from March to August helped to fill up its reserves.

South West Water confirmed yesterday that the ban it imposed across Devon and Cornwall last August will finally come to an end (stock image)

Its two main reservoirs, Roadford and Colliford, are now 53 per cent and 52 per cent full.

South West Water said: ‘We promised to review the restrictions in both our Colliford and Roadford water supply zones and thanks to the collaboration of customers, our investments and recent rainfall, our water resources are in a much more stable position following our peak summer demand.’ 

READ MORE HERE: Met Office issues fresh weather warnings across the UK for heavy rain and travel chaos as map shows where flooding could hit this week

Hosepipe bans – if flouted – could result in a £1,000 fine.

This year has seen above average rainfall, which has rescued water companies from imposing the unpopular bans.

The National Drought Group, which includes the government, water firms and angling groups among others, met last week and said that water supplies are in a ‘generally healthy position’ as autumn starts.

South West Water said it would not be complacent and would continue to monitor water levels.

It said: ‘Climate change has shown how unpredictable weather patterns can be and we must continue to protect the region’s rivers and beautiful natural resources.’ 

Water regulator Ofwat announced earlier this year it was investigating South West Water over alleged inaccuracy over the data it supplies on how much water leaks from its network.

If Ofwat find’s South West’s parent company, Pennon has misreported its data, the firm could face fines of up to 10 per cent of its last year’s turnover – which totalled £792m.

The company was also fined £2.1m in April by the Environment Agency in relation to pollution dating back to 2018 in both Devon and Cornwall.

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