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Heavy downpours put an end to Liverpool region hose

November 23, 2010

Gardeners across the North West breathed a huge sigh of relief after weeks of wet weather put an end to the hosepipe ban.

United Utilities lifted the six-week ban imposed on 9th July after the region’s driest start to a year since records began.

Despite a month where the region experienced torrential downpours and flash flooding, reservoir levels remained below average.

But water bosses have now confirmed that the situation was “much improved” allowing the firm to lift the ban.

Richard Blackwell, United Utilities’ supply demand manager, said that although the ban was over, customers should still use water wisely as some reservoirs remained low.

Mr Blackwell said: “Reservoir levels have risen in recent weeks in Cumbria and North Wales and have stabilised in the Pennines with the rainfall over the last month.

“We now have sufficient reservoir storage overall to be able to lift the ban. This will come as welcome news to our millions of customers, who have been extremely patient and conscientious in their water usage.

“Our key reservoirs in Cumbria and North Wales are now at the kind of levels we would expect for the time of year.

“Pennine reservoir levels remain below normal, with some still at very low levels, but we are now able to compensate for this shortfall by moving more water from Cumbria and North Wales using our integrated pipe network.

“Overall, the situation is much improved and the ban is no longer required to safeguard essential supplies.

The ban was the first in 14 years when it was imposed following the region’s driest December to June spell in more than 70 years.

The lack of rainfall left water levels at crisis point but now the restrictions have been lifted, water chiefs wanted to thank customers for their patience.

Mr Blackwell added: “We’d like to thank customers for bearing with us since July 9. Although the ban is over, some of our reservoirs are still very low, so it’s important that people continue to do what they can to save water around the home and garden.

“Being water wise also helps protect the environment, whatever the weather.”

Under the ban, the use of hosepipes or sprinklers for watering private gardens and washing private cars was restricted, but businesses were not affected.