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Hot weekend sparks water alert

PUBLISHED: 07:45 30 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:07 22 October 2010

The forthcoming scorching hot weekend and the prospect of celebrations - or otherwise - of an England quarter final led the East's water companies yesterday to warn customers to be careful when turning on the taps.

The forthcoming scorching hot weekend and the prospect of celebrations - or otherwise - of an England quarter-final led the region's water companies yesterday to warn customers to be careful when turning on the taps.

Both Anglian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water said yesterday that their reservoirs are still almost full and that neither has placed any restrictions on water usage.

But they warned customers to use the resource sparingly over the weekend, with 18 of the last 19 months drier than average and river flows very low.

Much of Essex & Suffolk Water's supply in the Waveney and Yarmouth area comes from underground sources.

A spokesman yesterday said levels are currently "reasonable" but that they were being monitored very carefully as they can be affected by long, dry periods.

Operations director John Devall said: "Our customers are generally very responsible and have reduced the amount of water they use over the last 10 years.

"During this very dry period, it is important we keep working in partnership with our customers to encourage wise use of water to reduce waste and protect supplies."

Dan Baker, spokesman for Anglian Water, which serves the rest of East Anglia, said: "Our reservoirs remain 93pc full on average, with the highest being 98pc full.

"While we're not putting out any specific request for people to cut down on water use this weekend, we're urging people to save water on an ongoing basis this summer.

"We've already had hot weekends this year and are expecting a lot more, and it's certainly true that when it's hot consumption goes up, but we still don't plan on having any restrictions this year."

Essex & Suffolk Water yesterday offered 10 tips to cut down on water consumption. They are:

Use a water butt to collect and store rainwater.

Put a save-a-flush device in toilet cisterns which saves one litre of water each flush.

Use full loads in dishwasher and washing machines.

Replace washers on dripping taps, which can waste up to 26 litres of water per day, enough for a shower.

Turn off the tap while brushing teeth, saving up to 10 litres a time

Reduce the level of water in a bath by one inch.

Use a bucket rather than a hose to wash the car.

Use washing up water in the garden for your plants.

Water plants in the evening to retain moisture in the soil.

Report leaks quickly - 0800 526337 for the Suffolk and Essex Water area, 0800 771881 in Norfolk.

Steve Weston, forecaster for UEA-based Weatherquest, said yesterday: "It will be pretty much dry the whole weekend with just the slight chance of a shower. And it will be very hot, 26 or 27 degrees inland, up to 28 degrees in Breckland.

"The sun will be intense during the football so if anyone's watching outside, sunscreen and hats will be absolutely essential."


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