Yorkshire Water is to introduce a hosepipe ban as the prolonged dry spell continues.
It comes as drought is set to be declared for some parts of England today (Friday), with temperatures to hit 31ºC by Sunday in York.
The first Yorkshire Water hosepipe ban in 27 years will begin on Friday, 26 August.
It says reservoir levels had fallen below 50% for the first time since the drought of 1995. Months of rainfall would be required for them to recover to normal levels.
Anyone breaking the temporary ban could be fined of up to £1,000.
What are the restrictions?
- Under restrictions, customers are banned from using a hosepipe to water their gardens, clean their vehicles, fill their swimming pools or water fountains, clean patios or any artificial outdoor surfaces, clean a private leisure boat, or clean the windows and walls of their homes.
- A ‘hosepipe’ means anything designed, adapted or used to serve the same purpose as a hosepipe. This means garden sprinklers and most irrigation systems, connected to the mains water supply, are all considered to be hosepipes, together with anything attached to them like pressure washers.
- However, they are still permitted to complete those activities with tap water from a bucket or watering can, or using water that is not sourced from taps.
- Businesses will only be allowed to use a hosepipe if it is directly related to a commercial purpose.
Yorkshire Water’s director of water Neil Dewis said the prolonged heatwave conditions blasting the nation left the company with little other choice.
“Parts of Yorkshire have seen the lowest rainfall since our records began more than 130 years ago,” he said.
“The hot, dry, weather means that Yorkshire’s rivers are running low and our reservoirs are around 20% lower than we would expect for this time of year. We’ve been doing everything we can to avoid putting in restrictions but, unfortunately, they’re now necessary as part of our drought planning.
“We’ve been monitoring reservoir levels, weather forecasts and other environmental indicators closely to determine whether we might need to put further measures in place.
“As we’ve now reached that trigger point, we need to make sure that we have enough supply for the essential needs of people across the region this year and next, as well as making sure we’re able to protect our local environment by limiting the amount of water we have to draw from the rivers.
“Our decision to introduce a hosepipe ban is based on the risk that water stocks continue to fall in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long-term river health.”
Four other water companies have already announced a hosepipe ban.