Thames Water ramps up water supply to meet heatwave demand

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Watering can in garden

Thames Water is pumping an extra 450 million litres of water into its network to cope with a record surge in demand during the ongoing heatwave.

Temperatures in London and across the Thames Valley have been topping 30 degrees this week and the company has ramped-up production at its water treatment works to keep taps flowing.

The 17 per cent increase – enough to typically supply 800,000 homes – links with the company’s new campaign to encourage customers to be ‘water smart’ at home and at work, to reduce pressure on precious supplies as well as save money on bills.

Andrew Tucker, water efficiency manager at Thames Water, said: “We’re doing all we can to keep enough water flowing through our network during this very hot spell, which often makes people worry. The good news is that the rain we had in winter and spring really helped to fill our reservoirs and recharge groundwater levels, so we don’t expect them to become so low that we have to impose temporary restrictions.

“But, to be absolutely sure, we all need to think about how we use water and how we could save it. Making just a few small changes to your routine, while also enjoying the sunshine, will make a big difference and help us keep up with demand and avoid the risk of water restrictions later.”

There are simple changes everyone can make to help:

  • Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth
  • Taking a four minute shower
  • Reusing the paddling pool to water the garden rather than pouring it away
  • Water your garden at night, when it has most benefit, with a watering can
  • Let your lawn go brown – it will recover
  • Wash your car after the heatwave

 As part of a new water efficiency campaign, launching next week, customers will be encouraged to take a ‘10 litre challenge’ – to reduce their water use by 10 litres a day. The company’s website will have a new section dedicated to offering tips and advice, plus a number of free water-saving gadgets Thames Water customers can order.

Thames Water is fixing a record 1,000 leaks a week and continues to replace ageing Victorian pipes. The company is also rolling out free smart meters to help customers see how much they use, and is consulting on proposals on how best to secure regional water resources for future generations.