No end is in sight for hosepipe ban

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A hosepipe ban set to come into force next month will not be stepped down until the county gets ‘weeks of above-average rainfall’.

Anglian Water announced on Monday that a temporary hosepipe ban would begin on April 5 for the first time in 20 years, following the driest 18 months for a century.

Asked how long the hosepipe ban would be kept in place, a spokeman for the water company said: “It’s not possible to predict when we’ll lift the ban, as the trigger for lifting it is the same as the trigger that has caused it – namely, rainfall, or the lack of it. It is likely that the ban will remain in place until we have had sufficient rainfall for us to be confident that we have enough water to meet the demand both this summer, and in 2013.”

He added: “We will need weeks of above average rainfall to get us back to our target position for this time of year.”

The region’s two main reservoirs, Pitsford and Rutland, are well under capacity.

At Pitsford the levels are at 62 per cent, compared to the expected 80 to 85 per cent at this time of year.

At Rutland the levels are 73 per cent compared to the target 90 per cent.

Because of the low levels fishing around Pitsford reservoir has been scaled back to protect the banks.

Kettering allotment holder Mario Serino faces a difficult summer keeping his crops flourishing when the ban kicks in.

He said he was unsure why the county had a problem with water levels.

He said: “Yes, we’ve had a dry spell, but doesn’t Spain and Italy – they don’t have these problems.”