No water shortages in Suffolk yet - but bosses hope for a wet winter

Family enjoying themselves at Alton Water, under the supervison of staff at the reservoir PICTURE: R

There are no concerns about the level of Alton Water this year - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Water companies supplying Suffolk and Essex are confident that they have enough supplies to tide them over the current heatwave - but are hoping for a wet winter to replenish reserves.

Anglian Water's Alton Water reservoir on the Shotley peninsula is 80% full and not causing any great concern at present - and the underground aquifers that supply many customers are looking relatively healthy.

But a spokeswoman for the company said they would be hoping for a relatively wet winter to help replenish their stocks.

She said: "Last winter was relatively dry, but because of the careful way we manage supplies in the driest part of the country we can cope with one dry year and we don't have any concerns or fears about restrictions for this year.

"But if we have another dry winter things could be more difficult next year. What we really need is a lot of steady drizzle - that's better to get water into the system than heavy storms because with them most of the water just flows away."

Alton Water

Alton Water supplies water to much of the Ipswich area and is currently about 80% full. - Credit: Paul Geater

Although the overall water levels are good, there have been problems in some places because of the heavy demand caused by the heatwaves during the summer.

"There have been locations where we have struggled to keep up with demand and the pressure has fallen. That isn't happening in Suffolk but it has happened elsewhere but it isn't that we haven't got the water, we just can't get it through the pipes fast enough."

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Essex and Suffolk Water also supplies many customers in the area and its stocks are also reasonably healthy although it is asking customers to be as careful as possible - and not to use lawn sprinklers or wash the car while demand is so high.

Colin Day, head of water service planning at Essex & Suffolk Water, said: “Fresh water is not in infinite supply, and our population is growing with increased urbanisation.   

“Although our reservoirs are in a healthy position for this time of year, and we are used to managing high periods of demand, now is the time that our customers can really help us to keep the water flowing.

“By using items such as paddling pools and hot tubs, it can pull heavily on our resources – meaning sometimes the water is being used faster than it can be treated into drinking water.                                      

“When our customers use water wisely, not only are they helping us to protect our resources but they are helping to protect our environment too – which is why we are asking that simple small changes are made.”