Anglian Water announces Huntingdonshire hosepipe ban to be lifted tomorrow

ANGLIAN Water will lift its hosepipe ban tomorrow (Thursday) after the wettest April in 113 years.

Reservoir and groundwater aquifer levels fell to record lows at the start of April that led to the Huntingdon-based company imposing the two-month ban.

The torrential rain in April, May and beginning of June has boosted river flows and refilled reservoirs hit by the two-year drought.

Paul Valleley, Anglian Water’s director of Water Services, said: “I am delighted that we are able to make this announcement. It was never our intention to keep these restrictions in place a moment longer than necessary.

“When we introduced the ban back on April 5, we had just been through the driest year on record and gone two winters without the rainfall needed to recharge reservoirs and aquifers.

“We were heading into the summer with reserves well below normal.

He added: “Almost from the moment we announced the ban it started raining and April turned out to be the wettest in our 113-year records.

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“There’s no way we could have predicted it, but in some places we had three times the average rainfall in April. Crucially, it fell just within the traditional ‘recharge’ season – the time of the year when there is less competition for water from the environment, and much of what falls ends up in reservoirs and aquifers.

“Effectively, we had three months worth of ‘winter rain’ in April. This was followed by a wet and cool May and June. The persistent rain and low temperatures have extended the recharge season into the early summer, and this has made all the difference.”

Most groundwater aquifers have also recovered from what had been record low levels in some areas, but some remain low and are now likely to remain so until they can be recharged by sustained rainfall in winter.

Paul said: “Many aquifers started April at historically low levels and many are still below normal, even after the torrential downpours we have seen recently.

“The recharge of these aquifers is a natural process and with summer now upon us, there is unlikely to be any real change until we get a full winter of rain to replenish them.”

Paul added: “We are enormously grateful to our customers for their help and support over the last two months.”