Beds, Herts & Bucks

Veolia water company needs more rain to lift hosepipe ban

A water company serving Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire will not lift its hosepipe ban because it needs more rain.

Veolia will not lift its restrictions even though Anglian and Thames, other companies serving the region, have.

It says the underground aquifers, from which it takes most of its water are still depleted.

A spokesperson said "prolonged and substantial rainfall over a longer period" was needed.

Seven firms restricted water use in April to combat drought in southern and eastern England after two dry winters.

Veolia Water Central say that the significant rainfall in April and early May and the reduced demand for water due to the ban has resulted in "the first positive recharge of groundwater" for over a year in the aquifers.

However, the level achieved so far has been small, compared to what would be needed to restore groundwater resources to normal levels, the firm said.

'Restore groundwater'

Mike Pocock from Veolia Water said: "Unfortunately at present, we will not be relaxing the temporary use ban further, as we need to conserve our supply of water to prepare for the possibility of a third dry autumn and winter.

"Months of wet weather, particularly during the next autumn and winter period, will be needed to restore groundwater to normal levels."

Anglian, Southern and Thames water companies lifted their bans from midnight on Wednesday after recent heavy rain which significantly improved the river levels and reservoir stocks from where they take their water.

South East Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water and Veolia Water Southeast have also confirmed that their hosepipe bans will remain in place due to low levels of groundwater.

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