England

Hosepipe ban remains despite rain in North West

The hosepipe ban imposed across north west England remains in place despite the region experiencing heavy rain and flooding over the past few weeks.

United Utilities said the torrential rain had helped swell reservoirs and lakes in Cumbria.

But the six reservoirs which feed water into the region's system are only 44% full instead of their usual 70%.

John Sanders from United Utilities said there needed to be more rainfall before the company was able to lift the ban.

"We need to see more rainfall such as we saw last week, a sustained rainfall that really soaks into the ground and leads to water running off into our reservoirs," he said.

"If we see that recovery, if we get more rain such as we had last week over the coming weeks, then we would be in a position to lift the ban."

Drought permit

The company has said it would "not keep the hosepipe ban on one day longer than necessary."

A spokesman said it had applied for a drought permit to move water from Windermere to the region, but this was no longer needed.

He added it was monitoring reservoir stocks on a daily basis and would only consider moving water if it were "absolutely necessary".

The temporary ban covers Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, some parts of Cheshire and some parts of Cumbria.

Those who flout it will first receive a warning letter, then a visit from a United Utilities employee explaining the importance of conserving water and if they disregard the advice they will be issued with a £1,000 fine.

So far 90 letters have been sent out since the ban was introduced on 9 July.

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