Southern Water appeal as ‘lockdown’ and hot weather sees huge surge in demand

Increased demand

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.


  1. Just think:-
    All the hotels are closed: Not using Water.
    All guest houses are closed: Using minimal water.
    All pubs are closed: Not using water.
    All Hairdressers are closed: Not using water.
    All Restaurants are closed:Not using water.
    All public Conveniences are closed: Not using water.
    All Laundries are shut: Not using water.
    All Factories are shut: Not using water.
    All Car showrooms are shut: Not using water.
    All Football grounds are shut: Not using water.
    All Cricket Clubs are shut:Not using water.
    All Swimming Pools are shut: Not using water
    And the list goes on.

    Water Leakages have not been repaired

    • Can you clarify where you’ve got the information from that water leaks haven’t been repaired? Clearly they’ve been repaired but because of ageing pipes they will continue to burst until replaced.

      Stop spreading fake news.

      • Southern Water had a team working on a water meter 2 doors away.
        Two workmen replaced the tarmac around the meter after 7 days.
        Within 24 hours water was noted coming out off the ground. Southern water were contacted immediately
        14 days later two water leak experts visited to confirm that there was a leak.
        2 days later a Southern water vehicle vehicle turned up to check, We now wait to see how long it is before the leak is fixed.
        Enough clarification. ?

        • Rebecca, that doesn’t justify what you’ve said. If you don’t know how the water system works and you’re basing your view on something that you know nothing about, then simply, don’t post.

  2. Oh here we go again, a few days of hot weather and souther water want us to save water. It’s about time they sorted themselves out as an organisation, the last lot of directors were thrown off the board for fraud and lies.
    They are very good at polluting the sea and building smelly sewage works but when it comes to suppling water they want to rip us off for our water rates and would be happy for us not to use the very thing they are paid to supply WATER.

    • A few days? Here in Kent there has been no rain for the whole of May.
      Yes, the leaks need fixing. But fixing leaks takes time and money and means roads being closed (again).
      Not wasting water in paddling pools, not running the tap whilst rinsing stuff in the sink and so on is a simple, easy thing to do … and it saves you money!!

      • As we’ve now got water meters I’d have thought most people would be careful with water use. Especially as Kent has lower rainfall than much of Britain.

  3. ROFL only the wettest winter in years. Remember the floods?

    But hey, let’s ramp up the water rates, pay more use less, reasonable and realistic strategy Southern Water, don’t you think?

    • One of the problems is that people concrete over their front gardens. When it rains, the water, instead of soaking into the ground and hence the aquifer, it runs straight into the drains, overwhelms them, and leads to flooding.

  4. Makes you laugh yet 10,000ltrs per week is going on trees ! But think twice about filling up your kids paddling pool. OK I know it’s from the farmers own borehole and he must be able to use that water of site. Were I once work the borehole licence said the water could only be used on site and only used for spray irrigation for crops.

Comments are closed.