WATER company Severn Trent is appealing for residents to help save water as it sees the highest demand in its history in the driest May for a century.
Worcestershire saw just 1mm of rain in May and a top temperature of 26.1 degrees C.
In neighbouring Warwickshire there was just 1.2mm of rain went even higher at 26.3 degrees C.
On average, the central and southern parts of the Midlands received just five to ten per cent of their normal May rainfall.
Severn Trent says as a result many residents have been using sprinklers to keep their lawns green,pressure washers to clean their cars, and getting the paddling pools for the kids.
Factor in the coronavirus pandemic and people using on average 20 per cent more water than usual and the hot weather has led to the highest ever demand for treated water in Severn Trent’s history.
The firm says that while its reservoirs remain 85 per cent full of raw water, the challenge is treating and pumping it out fast enough to meet demand.
It says its treatment works are working flat out, pumping out 2.3billion litres each day – that’s 95million litres every hour and more than Severn Trent has ever put into supply on any day in its 30 year history.
Demand has been so high in some areas that pressure has dropped and there’s even been losses of supply as the pipes can’t carry water fast enough.
Severn Trent is now appealing for people to take a few simple steps when they’re using treated water from the tap with supplies better saved for washing, drinking and cooking.
Company chief executive Liv Garfield said: “Our treatment works are already working at maximum and our pipes are carrying treated water as fast as they can to everyone, but the huge spike in demand means we’re seeing poor pressures in some areas as people use it up as fast as we can get it to them.
“We’re appealing for people to cut back on non-essential use, especially outside, where they can over the next week.
That’ll really help us keep up and make sure everyone gets the water they need for handwashing, cooking and drinking.”
Some of the things that use the most water are: A hose/sprinkler uses around 1,000 litres an hour; a paddling pool holds 400 litres, which is roughly the same as three people’s average daily usage; jet washers use 36 litres a minute.