Hosepipe warnings over water concern

WATER bosses are urging consumers in the Derbyshire Dales to ditch their hosepipes as they look to stave off the threat of drought, despite recent downpours.

Bans on hosepipes have already come into force in other parts of the country due to dropping water levels, and while there is no imminent ban for the area, there is concern with Ogston Reservoir recently showing a 50 per cent drop.

A spokesman for Severn Trent Water said: “The company is continuing to remind customers to use water wisely and save water in the home and garden.

“Customers in our region are very water conscious, with the lowest consumption per head in the UK.

“Despite the record low rainfall over the last 16 months and the Environment Agency stating that more areas of the Midlands are at a high risk of drought, we not predicting usage restrictions.

“The situation remains under constant review, however, and the company is taking steps to ensure supplies are resilient both this year and next.

“Dozens of individual measures are being taken to ensure customers do not face any usage restrictions this year, but we can’t afford to be complacent.

“Although we would never rule out the prospect of restrictions, we are confident we have the situation under control at this time.”

While Ogston had dropped to half full, reservoirs at Carsington and Ladybower have been upwards of 90 per cent full of late.

The Environment Agency’s water-monitoring devices recently showed that the River Derwent at Matlock had fallen to 0.45m during the last dry spell, with the Environment Agency saying its typical levels can range from 0.29m to 1.31m.

At Chatsworth it fell to 1.06m, just two cm above the minimum level of the average range. In other areas, the Environment Agency was recently forced to rescue fish from the River Lathkill because of receding water lines.

Members of the public should report any problems, such as fish in distress, to a 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.

Meanwhile, advice issued to consumers by Severn Trent about conserving water includes advising against the use of hosepipes, which they claim can use as much water in one hour as a family of four can use in one day.

People should consider using washing up water for the garden, watering plants at night to avoid evaporation and using a water butt.

In the house, only use a dishwasher if its a full load, take showers instead of baths and even turn the tap off during brushing teeth.

What do you think about hosepipe bans? Have you got any water saving tips? Email us on news@matlockmercury.co.uk or comment here. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.