Tag Archives: Drought

Drought now affecting half the country

drought

drought (Photo credit: iamleeg)

In the wake of the announcement of the first parts of the country to be declared in drought, and the introduction of the hosepipe ban earlier this month, further drought zones have been designated in another 17 counties. The Environment Agency has extended its drought map to include the Midlands and the South West of England.

Despite the recent welcome rainfall, drought restrictions could remain in place until at least Christmas in what is likely to be the driest year in the UK since 1976. It is therefore essential that we all take steps to use water wisely. Drain Doctor would like to reiterate some water-saving tips we published recently:

  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.
  • Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.
  • Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  • Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can use as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.
  • If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.
  • Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.
  • Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.
  • Think about fitting a water-butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.
  • Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

Also, don’t forget to follow OFWAT’s advice on hosepipe useage:

Watering of private gardens and washing of private motor cars with a hosepipe or sprinkler is prohibited during a hosepipe ban.

  • You can wash cars or water gardens using buckets and/or watering cans.
  • Commercial activities are generally not affected by hosepipe bans. However, a gardener or window cleaner must not use a hosepipe or sprinkler connected to a customer’s private supply.
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Drain Doctor tips on coping with hosepipe ban as drought area widens

Drain Doctor advice: Turn off running water and fix dripping taps to save water.

As the area officially in drought in the UK widens to include South Yorkshire and the April 5 hosepipe ban looms, Drain Doctor offers some advice to consumers and technicians alike on how to cope with the ban.

The current position would suggest that water used to fill jetting machines for drain clearance is not covered by the ban. However, using a domestic water supply for a jetter used to clean a patio or a car is likely to be included in the ban. The ban is focussing on domestic and recreational use of hosepipes but this could change as the drought continues to bite.

Ofwat guidance on hosepipe use is as follows:

Watering of private gardens and washing of private motor cars with a hosepipe or sprinkler is prohibited during a hosepipe ban.

  • You can wash cars or water gardens using buckets and/or watering cans.
  • Commercial activities are generally not affected by hosepipe bans. However, a gardener or window cleaner must not use a hosepipe or sprinkler connected to a customer’s private supply.

Visit www.hosepipeban.org.uk/2012 for more information on the dos and don’ts laid out by the various water companies. The ban, to be introduced on 5 April, will be introduced by Anglian Water, Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Sutton & East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East.

Drain Doctor would also like to reiterate the following tips for saving water:

  1. Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.
  2. Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.
  3. Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  4. Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can use as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.
  5. If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.
  6. Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.
  7. Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.
  8. Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.
  9. Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

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Water saving tips for hosepipe ban hit UK from across the pond

Following the news that the use of hose pipes is to be banned in parts of the UK, news comes to us from our friends at Mr Rooter that it’s ‘Fix a Leak Week’ in the US. It’s sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and calls attention to the importance of conserving water.

The EPA WaterSense website advises Americans to repair leaks in three areas: the sink, the toilet and the shower.

This is also true here in the UK.  See Drain Doctor’s water-saving tips for easy ways to help beat the drought.

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Drain Doctor offers water saving tips as drought continues

Despite recent wet weather, parts of the Anglian region have been officially in a state of drought since early in the month. Areas in the South West, South East, and Midlands are experiencing near-drought conditions following the driest spring on record in South East and Central Southern England, and the driest right across England and Wales since 1990.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “Drought has hit parts of East Anglia, with other areas in England and Wales also giving grounds for concern. Water companies are confident that supplies are high enough so that widespread restrictions to the public are unlikely. We’re doing all we can to reduce the impact on agriculture and wildlife, but everyone can play their part.

“Households know how to use less water and everyone can do their bit to use water more wisely, not only through the summer, but throughout the year.”

Although some areas across the country have benefited from recent rainfall, this has done little to improve the situation in the driest areas. It is important to follow some of these simple tips to conserve water:

  • Check your plumbing and drains for leaks
  • Turn off your tap when you are brushing your teeth
  • Take showers rather than baths
  • Repair any dripping taps
  • Only use what water you need when filling the kettle to make tea or coffee
  • Only use the washing machine when you can put a full load into it
  • Keep water in the fridge to chill so that you don’t need to run the tap to get cool water each time
  • Place a brick or a ‘hippo’ in the toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water flushed
  • Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose pipe if you are using it in the garden or to wash the car
  • Use a mulch on beds and vegetable plots to retain moisture in the soil to reduce the amount of watering
  • Use a water butt to collect rainwater to use on the garden

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