Domestic water customers in the North West will face temporary water restrictions from 5 August, with businesses also being urged to do their part to keep water use under control.
With the extended heatwave across the country now believed to be the longest since 1976, United Utilities has decided to implement a ‘temporary use ban’ to restrict the use of hosepipes or sprinklers in homes.
The ban also covers non-essential use in businesses.
Martin Padley, water services director at United Utilities, said: “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.”
United Utilities is asking for voluntary support from businesses to keep water use under control and has provided a list of simple tips.
Businesses can also request water efficiency services from their water company or shop around for a better service package.
Jim Ratcliffe, drought manager at the Environment Agency, said that while United Utilities’ domestic ban was a “responsible measure”, both businesses and householders needed to “increase the amount of water we save to protect our natural environment and drinking water supplies”.
United Utilities is also under pressure to save water itself, with an average of 439 million litres of water lost to leaks per day in 2016/17.