Suffolk: ‘No chance’ of hosepipe ban despite dry period, say Anglian Water

Dry land underfoot in Holbrook - photo Alison Connors

Dry land underfoot in Holbrook - photo Alison Connors - Credit: Archant

FEARS that the region could be hit with another hosepipe ban have been quashed.

Anglian Water imposed restrictions in April last year after the driest March since 1953, coming at the end of the driest 18 months in a century.

But they were lifted in June following the wettest April on record, which preceded the wettest summer for 100 years.

But reader Alison Connors raised concerns over further bans after walking in Holbrook on Saturday, saying the field was full of cracks and “very hard under foot”.

But Ciaran Nelson, a spokesman for Anglian Water, assauged fears of a hosepipe ban making a return in 2013.

“There is practically no chance of any restrictions anytime soon,” he said.

“Although January and February were slightly below the average in terms of rainfall for the time of year, October, November and December were significantly above the average, as was the case for quite a bit of last year

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“All of our reserves are healthy and in good shape. Alton is 93% full, which is what we would expect at this time of year, and groundwater levels – the aquifers we rely on – are also at either normal levels or higher in a lot of cases.

“It was 18 months of below average rainfall that got us into the drought – so you could say that, even with a couple of fairly dry months behind us, we are still a very long way from anything like drought.”

Jim Bacon, forecaster at University of East Anglia-based Weatherquest, said eastern winds had created a “false impression” of dry land.

“It’s just the top layer that is dry. If you dig a little bit deeper you will find plenty of moisture,” he added.