Water efficient gardening

As the region basks in a heat wave and we all look for ways to cool down, Anglian Water is stressing the importance of staying safe and offering people top tips for using water wisely while still having fun in the sun. 

People will be pleased to know a hosepipe ban is not on the cards in the East of England this year. The levels in the region’s reservoirs and groundwater stores are healthy.

However with recent scorching temperatures people are understandably looking for ways to cool off.

“We want people to enjoy the lovely weather but more importantly we want them to stay safe,” said Antony Innes from Anglian Water.

“It might look appealing to dive into a calm-looking reservoir on a scorching hot day, but these are operational sites and can be extremely dangerous for even the strongest swimmer.

“Reservoirs are often in isolated locations and are incredibly deep with hidden machinery under the water and many sudden dips and drops. They also have very strong, hidden currents from the continuous pumping of water to customers’ homes.

“Even during the summer and a heatwave like this, the water temperature in reservoirs stays very low and can cause shock or hypothermia.

“With the exception of supervised events such as triathlons, and the designated area at Rutland Water, swimming is not permitted at any of our reservoirs. Anyone ignoring the warning is risking their life, as well as those of others who may come to their aid.”

The hottest place in the region this week was Wittering near Peterborough where temperatures reached a record 35.5C Wednesday – hotter than Kingston in Jamaica, Rio in Brazil and even Mumbai in India.

As the mercury goes up it’s only natural for demand for water to rise too, with people filling paddling pools and watering thirsty flower beds. But by using water sensibly we can reduce demand, keep bills down and help the environment too.

Antony continued: “It is important people of all ages stay hydrated this weekend and enjoy the sun too. But by doing so it doesn’t have to mean our water use needs to rocket too - we always want people to think about using water wisely.

“Our engineers will be out over the weekend to make sure the network is working efficiently and any leaks are dealt with as quickly as possible. Even so, we’re still expecting demand to rise this weekend.”

So here are a few simple and effective tips to help everyone be water-wise:

• Finished with the paddling pool for the day? Use the water on the flower beds instead of filling a watering can with fresh tap water.

• Thunder storms and some rain are predicted this weekend – check your local forecast, if it’s going to rain tomorrow then don’t water the plants.

• Learn to love your brown lawn – leave the sprinkler in the shed this summer, your lawn will soon bounce back and be a vibrant green again.

• Water the plants late in the evening and early in the morning when less will be lost to evaporation.

• Get a water butt – if you’re the last person on your street without one, what are you waiting for? Water butts can save water and will give you a handy supply if you don’t have an outside tap.

For more advice on water efficient gardening can be found here and you can also get a free water-saving garden pack. And why not join our Drop 20 campaign to help your community cut down on wasted water.