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Carmarthenshire

Hosepipe ban lifted in Pembrokeshire – but residents warned to ‘use water wisely’

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Welsh Water has removed its hosepipe ban for communities served by Llys-y-Frân Reservoir near Haverfordwest – but is warning its 3 million customers that it’s still important to continue to avoid wasting water so that its 91 reservoirs have the best chance of refilling fully over the winter months.

The reminder comes as the company confirms it is lifting the Temporary Use Ban (more commonly known as a ‘hosepipe ban’) that has been in place since 19 August.

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Customers across Pembrokeshire and some adjoining parts of Carmarthenshire haven’t been able to use a hosepipe after the reservoir fell into drought. The restriction is lifted with immediate effect.

After one of the warmest summers on record and the driest year since 1976, water levels at just about all of the company’s reservoirs fell significantly as it kept the water flowing to its three million customers. Added to this, the company had to treat record amounts of water during the peak of the hot weather – with over 1 billion litres a day being treated at times compared to the normal 850 million litres per day.

While rain is now falling and helping some reservoirs like Llys-y-Frân, the rain isn’t heavy enough or lasting long enough to have a significant effect on levels at all reservoirs. This is particularly true of reservoirs in the south east of Wales where levels at some reservoirs are continuing to drop.

With no significant rain in the forecast, reservoirs need a bit of extra help to make sure they refill ready for next summer. This is particularly important with the effects of climate change being reported as being linked to increasing the likelihood of droughts in future.

Ian Christie, Managing Director of Water Services, said,

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“We are pleased that we are able to lift the hosepipe ban for our customers served by Llys-y-Frân reservoir and we really do thank them for their full co-operation which really did help ensure we kept the water flowing to our customers there throughout the summer and protect key rivers in Pembrokeshire. We are also writing to our customers in the area confirming the ban has been lifted.

“While this is good news, we are not out of the woods yet. Our reservoirs are dependent on rain to refill over the autumn and winter. Over the past six months, Wales has had one of the longest and driest periods on record and in September only saw 50% of the long term average rainfall and our reservoir levels in some areas – particularly south east Wales – are far lower than they would normally be at this time of year. The forecast for a drier than average autumn, with only limited rain expected in the immediate future is a concern.

“While we always ask customers not to waste water, we’re encouraging all customers to only use what they need over the autumn and winter to help ensure our reservoirs refill as quickly as possible and that there is sufficient water for all our customers next summer.

“We will also play our part by continuing to work as hard as possible on finding and fixing leaks as quick as we can and investing in the network to make it as efficient as possible”.

(Lead image: Welsh Water)

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