Hosepipe ban to stay in place across east Surrey
The hosepipe ban across east Surrey will not be lifted despite the last month’s heavy rainfall prompting water companies in London and the South to do so.
Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW) company, along with South East Water, Veolia Water Central and Veolia Water Southeast, will not relax restrictions because they are heavily dependent on ground water supplies which they say remain "significantly or, in some cases, severely depleted".
Thames Water, Southern Water and Anglian Water companies all announced they are lifting their bans today.
Mike Hegarty, SESW operations director, said: "We will not keep our restrictions for a moment longer than we have to, but despite the prolonged rainfall and flooding, our underground resources are showing no signs of recovery.
"We are acting in the best interests of our customers.
"All water companies must stick to their drought management plans which are agreed with our regulators.
"Just as the three companies lifting restrictions will be following theirs by doing so, we need to comply with ours and retain them.
"We hope our customers understand and would like to thank them for their cooperation so far.
"These depleted reserves still need to see us through the summer, while we must also plan for the possibility of a third dry winter."
The Environment Agency confirmed last week in its Water Resources and Drought Prospects report that ground water remains, in some cases, very low.
Richard Rap, SESW operations manager added: "Our principal reference borehole remains at a record low level and is showing no sign that the ground water is recovering.
"It is 10 metres (30ft) lower than it should be at this time of year. The Environment Agency also relies on data from this borehole.
"Imagine it as a vast underground reservoir at record low levels. Underground sources provide 85 per cent of our water - so you can appreciate our concerns.
"This is why all the companies maintaining restrictions are asking our customers to continue to please use water wisely."