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‘Avoid flushing toilet regularly’ to help prevent summer water shortages, residents told

PUBLISHED: 14:30 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 24 January 2019

Alton Water, an Anglian Water reservoir near Ipswich. Picture: LIBRARY

Alton Water, an Anglian Water reservoir near Ipswich. Picture: LIBRARY

Archant

Take shorter showers, don’t wash cars and avoid flushing the toilet regularly - that is a water company’s advice to residents in a bid to help prevent summer water shortages.

Lower than average rainfall this winter off the back of one of the hottest summers on record means that groundwater levels have not recovered to the level Anglian Water would hope.

It has moved to reassure residents there will be enough water to go around, with reservoir levels at around 78% - but is investing an additional £6.5million to make sure its equipment is ready for whatever this summer brings.

However it is also asking customers to “use water wisely” - for example by fixing dripping pipes, preventing bursting pipes, not washing their cars and avoid flushing the toilet regularly.

Head of water resources for Anglian Water, Hannah Stanley-Jones, said: “When it’s dull and grey outside it’s easy to not notice that in fact it hasn’t rained that much.

“But the reality is, during the long hot dry spell the region only had 54% of the average rainfall, and we have only had 89% of the long term average since then which is not sufficient to recover from the low levels.

“The rain in early December certainly helped to bolster our supplies, with average reservoir levels currently at around 78%, our supplies are secure.

“But coming after what was an exceptionally long dry summer, we haven’t seen the recovery in groundwater levels that we would normally expect for this time of year.”

In response to the dry summer in 2018, Anglian Water has ploughed extra resources into a programme of work this winter to ensure its equipment is in tip-top shape to make the most of the water available.

Ms Stanley-Jones added: “Our teams are currently undertaking a programme of work including things like cleaning our underground boreholes to ensure they can work at full capacity to get the water we need.

“The East of England is the driest region in the country and we are used to periods with little rainfall.

“We undertake this kind of work every winter but with rain levels below average for this time of year it is essential that extra steps are taken to ensure water provisions remain strong for the rest of the year and the warmer months ahead.

“We are also putting more resources than ever into driving down leakage in our pipe network, with extra teams deployed to find and fix leaks.

“Our customers are already some of the most water savvy in the country. There is always more we can all do to use water wisely, all year round.

“If we all save a bit now, there will be enough for summer fun later in the year.”


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