Summer hosepipe ban "unlikely" South West Water says

Image caption,
Reservoir levels may be lower than 2009, but they are "healthy" SWW says

Water users in Devon and Cornwall have been reassured about supplies over the summer months.

Despite the recent dry weather, South West Water (SWW) said it was confident there would be no need for water restrictions.

The company's customers pay more for water than any other region in the UK.

SWW said with total reservoir storage currently about 86% it was "unlikely" there would be a need for any hosepipe bans this summer.

It described reservoir levels as "healthy" and said regional groundwater levels remained average or above average for the time of year.

Clay reservoir

Colliford is 93% full, Roadford is 84% full and Wimbleball is 84% full.

The company said the last hosepipe bans to be imposed in the South West were in 1996.

Since the droughts of 1976, when some customers had to collect water from stand pipes, SWW has developed five new reservoirs and increased total storage by 87,383 megalitres.

Stannon, a former Imerys china clay quarry bought by SWW two years ago in 2008, is due to become a fully operational reservoir by the end of this summer, with a capacity of 8,000 megalitres.

Company spokesman Neil Whiter said SWW had a "comprehensive strategy" to ensure a continued secure supply of water for the region.

"2009 was the 13th consecutive summer with no water restrictions and it is most unlikely that there will need to be any restrictions in 2010," he said.

Last year at this time reservoirs in the region were 92% full.

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