Heatwave: Gardeners urged to switch off sprinklers to save water


GARDENERS are being asked NOT to use sprinklers or hosepipes to ensure the borough’s water supply remains switched on.

South East Water says that it currently needs an additional 100 million litres a day – the equivalent of 1.25 million flushes of the toilet – to meet the needs of its customers. Last Sunday – one of the hottest days of the current heatwave – saw the highest ever level of water use across its supply area in parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire

And the company says that a sprinkler will guzzle a family of four’s daily water supply in just one hour.

Steve George, Customer Services Director said: “When water use peaks like this, some of our customers may experience lower than normal pressures. Peak demand is usually in the evening from 5pm to 7pm and we are asking our customers to avoid non-essential water use, such as sprinklers, to help us make sure there is enough water for everyone.

“Our water supplies are good for this time of year – but in the same way that motorways can become jammed when rush-hour is busier than normal – using water sprinklers and hosepipes adds huge pressure to the normal peak-period demands of the dishwasher or washing machine, showering and bathing, and toilet flushing, and our water network simply cannot deliver the water quickly enough.

“There are some very simple things we can do during a hot period to limit the amount of extra water we use and make sure none is wasted.

“Of course, it’s essential to keep hydrated, so fill a covered jug and pop it in the fridge ready to make cool drinks. This means you don’t have to run the tap until it is cold enough for a single serving.”

And a gardening expert is promising that brown lawns will recover.

Coral Russell, Turfgrass Growers Association Manager, said: “Going brown is the natural survival mechanism of grass. When water is in short supply, grass responds by shutting down and turning a brown colour showing that it has stopped growing until more favourable conditions return. Grass is remarkably resilient, and as long as you follow a few basic rules, most lawns will recover completely when the rain finally arrives.”

Water saving ideas

  • Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth
  • Fix leaky loos or dripping taps
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when full
  • If you use a paddling pool, use the water on the garden afterwards

For more ideas and to find out how to get free water saving devices from South East Water, visit  southeastwater.co.uk/savewater

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