North west water company United Utilities has announced a hosepipe ban as the UK continues to experience what is set to be the longest heatwave since 1976.

The ‘Temporary Use Ban’ will come into effect on 5 August and will affect domestic customers with the exception of those in Carlisle and north Eden Valley, where supplies remain at reasonable levels.

Customers will now have until the start of the ban to provide feedback if they believe they should be exempt.

Martin Padley, United Utilities water services director, said the decision was not taken lightly.

“Despite some recent rainfall, reservoir levels are still lower than we would expect at this time of year and, with forecasters predicting a return to hot dry weather for the rest of July, we are now at a point where we will need to impose some temporary restrictions on customers.

“It is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are enormously grateful to customers for having helped reduce the demand on our network over the last couple of weeks, but unless we get a period of sustained rainfall before 5 August these restrictions will help us safeguard essential water supplies for longer.”

The ban will restrict customers from using hosepipes or sprinklers for watering private gardens or washing cars. Customers will still be able to water their gardens with a watering can and wash their vehicles with a bucket and sponge – methods which typically use a fraction of the amount of water a hosepipe or sprinkler uses.

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