Twenty years since last hosepipe ban

DESPITE Suffolk being one of the driest parts of the UK, this month marks 20 years since Anglian Water last enforced a hosepipe ban.

While the past month has seen the region basking in sunshine, Anglian Water is celebrating reaching the mammoth milestone.

In other regions, water restrictions during the summer have become commonplace.

However, the water company says it has ensured the region has not had to suffer during extended periods of dry weather by investing �50million to drill and commission boreholes, improve water treatment works and pumping stations. The last dry spell to trigger a hosepipe ban saw 34 months of below-average rainfall between 1988 and 1991.

At the time, the drought was the longest continuous period of dry weather since 1899.

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More than one million people were affected by the ban which began on August 10, 1990, and covered all of Norfolk and parts of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Lincolnshire. The ban lasted 448 days.

Ciaran Nelson, a spokesman for Anglian Water, said: “We don’t want to ever go back to times of restricting people’s use and we’re confident that because of the steps we have taken, we won’t find ourselves in that position any time soon.

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“But we must not forget that water is a precious resource. Regardless of the position we are in, we would always encourage sensible and conservative water use by our customers.”

Anglian Water is also aiming to ensure its customers understand the value of water and will be installing free water saving devices in areas classed as being water stressed.

Mr Nelson later told the East Anglian Daily Times that the company was also keeping a watchful eye on the possibilities of dry winters.

He added: “Ironically, it’s not the hot summers that we worry about, but the dry winters.

“Ensuring our reservoirs and underground aquifers are topped up over the colder months is critical.”

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