The hosepipe ban due to start in the North West this weekend has been called off, say United Utilities.

Recent rainfall and a reduction in customers’ water usage, combined with the measures being taken by the water company to maximise water available in its network for supply, is behind the decision to lift the ban planned for the North West on August 5.

But the ban, which was still due to go ahead as recently as Monday this week, could still be introduced at a later stage if the hot weather continues throughout August or beyond.

After weeks of sunshine, the slightly cooler temperatures in the past week, and spells of recent rainfall have both eased the demand from customers and helped with water levels in reservoirs.



Dr Martin Padley, United Utilities water services director, said: “We would like to thank all of our customers who have helped in recent weeks by conserving water wherever they can around the home and in the garden.

“Our leakage teams are working 24 hours a day to find and repair as many leaks as possible and we have been moving water around our network.

"We have also been making operational interventions such as installation of new pumping stations, pumping between reservoirs, bringing ground water sources into use and prioritising maintenance to help ensure supplies have not been interrupted during the prolonged hot spell. "

He added: “Given the improved position, helped by recent rainfall, we do not want to inconvenience customers unnecessarily at this time. However, the long range forecast from the Met Office is one of relatively dry weather into the autumn, so future restrictions are still a possibility if more rain doesn’t arrive.



“In the meantime, we are continuing to step up our own response and over the coming weeks you will see our teams out and about, bringing additional water supplies on line and fixing even more leaks. We are working closely with the Environment Agency in monitoring the water resources situation and we still urge customers to please help us by using water wisely where they can.”

The first half of the summer in the UK has been the driest since 1961.