HUNTINGDON-based Anglian Water will this month reach a milestone in its history, notching up 20 years since it last had to enforce a hosepipe ban.

HUNTINGDON-based Anglian Water will this month reach a milestone in its history, notching up 20 years since it last had to enforce a hosepipe ban.

Despite managing the water supply for the driest part of the UK, action by the water company and its customers has ensured the region has not had to suffer during extended periods of dry weather, the company said. In other parts of the country, restrictions during the summer have become commonplace.

The last dry spell to trigger a hosepipe ban saw 34 months of below-average rainfall between 1988 and 1991. At the time, this represented the longest continuous period of dry weather since 1899, affecting more than one million people and lasting 448 days.

Anglian Water’s Ciaran Nelson said: “We don’t want to ever go back to times of restricting people’s use. We’re confident that, because of the steps we’ve taken, we won’t find ourselves in that position any time soon.

“We must not forget, though, that water is a really precious resource. Regardless of the position we’re in, we’d always encourage sensible and conservative water use by our customers.”

Since the last hosepipe ban in 1990 and 1991, Anglian Water has invested a total of £50million to try to ensure supplies in the region during periods of dry weather.

“We’ve also addressed the problem of leakage,” said Mr Nelson. “We’d never claim to have that one completely sewn up, but we do lead the industry, with water loss figures at around half the average.

“Water meters play a significant role too. Around two-thirds of our household customers currently have a meter, and they find that, as well as saving money, they also use less water. Some reduce consumption by as much as 15 per cent.”

Anglian Water is currently installing free household water-saving devices in areas officially classed as ‘water-stressed’. Plumbers visit customers’ homes, fix minor leaks, and fit devices that lower water consumption.

Eat your hearts out, United Utilities customers in the rain-drenched North-West, who are braving their first hosepipe ban for 14 years.