Hosepipe ban lifted for Lincolnshire

— Updated at 8.23pm with statement from Lincoln MP Karl McCartney

The hosepipe ban in Lincolnshire will be lifted on Thursday, June 14.

The ban was put in place on April 5, but the wet weather since has increased flows in many rivers and refilled reservoirs hit by the two-year-long drought.

Many groundwater aquifers have also recovered from what had been record low levels in some areas.

Nevertheless, Anglian Water says some aquifers remain low and are now likely to remain so until they can be recharged by sustained rainfall in winter.

Groundwater aquifers account for almost half of the water that Anglian Water supplies.

Paul Valleley, Anglian Water’s Director of Water Services, said: “It was never our intention to keep these restrictions in place a moment longer than necessary.

“When we introduced the ban back on April 5, we had just been through the driest year on record and gone two winters without the rainfall needed to recharge reservoirs and aquifers.

“We were heading into the summer with reserves well below normal.”

He added: “Almost from the moment we announced the ban it started raining and April turned out to be the wettest in our 113-year records.

“There’s no way we could have predicted it, but in some places we had three times the average rainfall in April.

“Crucially, it fell just within the traditional ‘recharge’ season – the time of the year when there is less competition for water from the environment, and much of what falls ends up in reservoirs and aquifers.

“Effectively, we had three months worth of ‘winter rain’ in April. This was followed by a wet and cool May and June. The persistent rain and low temperatures have extended the recharge season into the early summer, and this has made all the difference.”

While Anglian Water is confident supplies are now secure this summer without the need for restrictions, concern remains over levels in many of the region’s underground aquifers.

Paul Valleley said: “Many aquifers started April at historically low levels and many are still below normal, even after the torrential downpours we have seen recently.

“The recharge of these aquifers is a natural process and with summer now upon us, there is unlikely to be any real change until we get a full winter of rain to replenish them.”

Water companies “must do more”

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney said: “I am very pleased that the hosepipe ban will now end, but water companies must do more to ensure that they discharge their responsibilities to their customers more effectively in future.

“I shall be reiterating my views about this matter to Anglian Water again, as I have recently been made aware that their stated ‘leakage’ figures of a fifth of supplies – around 20% of all water lost through leaks – is a conservative estimate at the very least.

“I also share my constituents’ disappointment and dismay that they have not received a rebate from Anglian Water for being prevented from using their hosepipes, especially if they have a water meter and so pay for the water they use.

“They pay for a utility service, but that service has sadly been lacking from Anglian Water. Once again, it seems, profit is being put ahead of treating customers fairly.”