Suffolk: Ban could be lifted by the end of month, sources say

ANGLIAN Water could lift the controversial hosepipe ban before the end of June, The Ipswich Star understands.

Since the measure was introduced in April, Suffolk has been deluged with rainfall – and with more wet weather on the horizon, sources close to the utility giant are confident the restrictions will be removed in the next fortnight.

A number of water companies elsewhere in the country have already lifted hosepipe bans after drought status was removed in Wiltshire, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire.

And it seems Anglian Water could soon follow suit following a report by the Environment Agency, which revealed that April was the wettest on record and continuing rain in May has significantly reduced the risk of serious drought.

In its latest Water Resources and Drought Prospects report, the Environment Agency found that river levels and reservoir stocks have significantly improved, easing the pressure on the environment and water supplies.

Anglian Water has refused to confirm whether the ban will be lifted and a spokesman reiterated that groundwater sources could remain low and “under stress” for the rest of the year.

WeatherQuest said several days of wet and unsettled weather are on the cards for Suffolk.

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Jim Bacon, a forecaster at the Norwich-based weather provider, said 210 millimetres of rain had fallen at Wattisham weather station since the hosepipe ban was enforced on April 5 – 54 per cent above average for the same period.

Dan Poulter, MP for north Ipswich and central Suffolk, confirmed it was a “strong possibility” the ban would be lifted.

He said: “I think we can be very optimistic that it will be lifted.

“Our reservoirs are refilled, our rivers are much fuller and my understanding from discussions is that there is a strong possibility the hosepipe would be lifted.

“It is quite right that Anglian Water have been cautious.”

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: “We don’t want to keep the hosepipe ban in place for a day longer than we have to.”

Conditions for the next few days are likely to remain unsettled and damp.

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