Hosepipe ban lifted across Sutton and East Surrey due to "miraculous" rise in groundwater
A "miraculous" increase in levels of groundwater has resulted in Sutton and East Surrey’s hosepipe ban being lifted after nearly three months.
Sutton and East Surrey Water company (SESW) which supplies areas including Leatherhead, Ashtead, Tadworth and Woodmansterne, finally lifted the ban on Monday.
The company, which draws 85 per cent of its water from underground boreholes, said these had been at record low levels following the two-year drought.
Two weeks ago, the Well House Inn reference borehole in Chipstead was showing no sign of recovering according to the company and was 10 metres below the expected level.
But in the past fortnight the level has shot up by five metres and is expected to continue rising as recent rainfall continues to filter down following the wettest April and June on record.
Stuart Hyslop, spokesman for SESW, said: "We rely predominantly on boreholes so they are critical to our supply and normally the situation is absolutely fine and they are replenished each year, but we have had two years of below average rainfall.
"But, the borehole levels are rising.
"Now they are miraculously shooting up and that’s down to the extraordinary rainfall we have had since April, penetrating deep down into the aquifer.
"The ground has become saturated and so any rain is going straight through like a sponge. It’s very, very unusual for it to be saturated.
"Even though the existing levels are below average, we are confident that more water will penetrate down and that it will hit the average level for this time of year."
Operations Director Mike Hegarty added: "The recharge is unprecedented and is the highest increase in water levels ever recorded in our area at this time of year.
"However, we would ask customers to please continue to use water wisely."
He said some most aquifers are now indicating promising levels of recharge - in some cases at unprecedented levels.