Around 15 million households in the UK will have a hosepipe ban slapped on them amid an August heatwave, Thames Water has confirmed.
The water company said that new “temporary” measure would be taken to conserve water as Wales and southern and central England preapre to bake in mid-30C temperatures in an August heatwave.
A level 3 heatwave alert has been issued in England from midday on Tuesday 9 August until Saturday 13 August.
It comes after an extreme heatwave in July saw cities across the UK hit temperatures as high at 41C.
What did Thames Water say about the August heatwave?
A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “Given the long-term forecast of dry weather and another forecast of very hot temperatures coming this week, we are planning to announce a temporary use ban in the coming weeks.
“We have written to the Environment Agency to update them on our approach and informed Ofwat.
“The timing is not confirmed due to a number of operational and legal procedural requirements but we will be updating our customers, partners, regulators and stakeholders at the earliest time to ensure a co-ordinated approach.
“In the meantime, we continue to urge our customers to only use what they need for their essential use.”
Although a speicfic hosepipe ban has not been referenced to, this restriction is expected to be introduced.
What is a hosepipe ban?
A hosepipe ban is a restriction that specifically regulates the use of water outside of the home.
This is referred to as a ‘hosepipe’ ban because this is one of the most commonly used outdoor water implements in the UK.
Water cannot be used to water lawns, wash cars, fill swimming pools or water slides or hose down pavements.
How does a hosepipe ban work?
Depending on the restriction, there may be a full-time hosepipe ban for a temporary period of time, or a temporary restriction between certain hours of the day.
If this ban is not observed, a fine may be issued.
The ban is normally introduced to help conserve water for essential reasons, such as drinking water and sewage systems, as well for fire rescue services.