As a precautionary measure Veolia Water is introducing a ban on the domestic use of hosepipes from 5 April in order to conserve water supplies.
The move follows months of below average rainfall and with forecasts indicating no end to the dry weather. Water companies across the South East are also imposing similar restrictions.
The hosepipe ban includes:
Veolia Water Southeast Head of Operations Gavin McHale said the ban was an essential move to conserve a scarce resource and help ensure a secure supply during what could be a continuing and severe drought.
He said: "In the Folkestone and Dover area we have no surface water from rivers or reservoirs to draw on and we rely on boreholes which take water from chalk and gravel aquifers.These natural aquifers need to be recharged each year during the autumn, winter and spring but we have had months of dry weather which have left our sources well below average levels.
"As we live in one of the driest areas in the country and forecasts show the drought likely to continue we need to move quickly to conserve our limited water resources.It is only prudent to try to save as much water as possible at this early stage and we are asking all our customers to help.
"You can save a significant amount of water with no impact on your lifestyle. Always remember that small savings each day add up to big savings in the end. And with most of our customers on meters there is money to be saved on bills as well."
Gavin McHale stressed that the ban would help the company manage water effectively in drought conditions. Although further restrictions might be introduced at a later date there was no likelihood of standpipes being needed.
The hosepipe ban is estimated to bring immediate significant water savings. A hosepipe typically uses 160 litres for just ten minutes use.Other water saving measures being urged by Veolia Water include:
In the home:
Veolia Water says it has a major programme underway to ensure long term security of supply. This includes a £34.5m investment in new plant and pipelines for the five years to 2015. It has also introduced compulsory metering, with around 90% of customers now on meters.
Gavin McHale added: "We greatly value and appreciate the sustained savings already made following the introduction of meters. The metering programme has allowed us to take a significant step forward in achieving sustainability.At the same time our company is itself doing all it can to save water and we consistently exceed the targets set by regulators for reducing leakage."
Veolia Water Southeast last imposed a hosepipe ban in 2006.To bring in further restrictions an application for a non-essential use ban must be made to Defra.Defra may then authorise water companies to ban non-essential use such as the watering of parks and sports grounds and the operation of car washes.
For more details on Veolia Water Southeast and for water saving tips see www.veoliawater.co.uk/southeast or ring the customer helpline 0845 888 5 888.
For further press information, please contact Philip Bosley, PHB Public Relations, on 01580 852500
Notes to editors:
1.Veolia Water Southeast supplies 44 million litres of water each day in South and East Kent to a population of more than 158,000 people.