Southern Water is appealing to people to use water wisely as hot days during the lockdown have resulted in demand rising by 60 million litres.
Ten weeks into lockdown, with many hundreds of thousands of people at home all day who wouldn’t normally be, has meant water additional hand washing and increased usage in the home -more showers, more washing and more cleaning and cooking.
Following one of the wettest January and February months on record there is enough water in the reservoirs, however, it has to go through a process to make it safe before it arrives at the tap.
On an average day, Southern Water treats and supplies 538 million litres of water – enough to make half the world’s population a cup of tea.
In lockdown, people are using between 10 and 20 per cent more than usual. This can be catered for but in hot weather demand soars and creates difficulties.
Southern Water say: “Hot weather coupled with extra people at home has meant we are seeing some really high peaks throughout the day; in fact some days during lockdown we have seen an extra 60 million litres demand!
“Sprinklers, hoses and paddling pools require extreme large quantities of water, something we should be mindful of during a normal summer anyway, but if that demand hits the network at the same time – which lockdown is causing it to do – it causes demand to outweigh supply.
“If lots of people fill pools and use hoses and sprinklers – the water supply has to be split between all demands.
“This is why water companies are asking everyone across the country to use water wisely during lockdown – the demand on the hot days is too high. The water treatment works which are more than capable of producing enough water for all essential use are very suddenly stretched.
“These days fewer people have the single occupancy child paddling pools which only take a few litres and are opting for the larger versions – most pools are now between 500 and 1000 litres, with some whoppers as big as 3500 litres – that’s a lot of water! It’s worth noting that as we move further into summer; these sums of water can also go on to cause a water shortage too.”
Click here for tips for saving water in hotter weather.