WATER bosses have insisted that a hosepipe ban would have gone ahead even if burst pipes had not lost gallons of water.
A burst pipe in London Road, Brentford, saw vast amounts of water lost from the network in February.
A Thames Water Valley spokesperson admitted the company would have much more water for residents had pipes not broken, but the ban would still be implemented due to drought conditions in the area.
He said: "We are completely sympathetic to the residents of Brentford who have had a particularly bad time. We realise this news will be pretty unpopular.
"We are not telling people not to use water, just to use less. If they water their plants, to use a can not a pipe.
"We know our record with Brentford is not great but there is not a water system in the world that doesn't leak, and if we could re-lay the whole pipe network we would, but we would have to dig up 90 per cent of London to do so. The whole city would come to a standstill and it would cost an absurd amount."
He added that Thames Water had reduced the amount of water lost through burst pipes over the last three years and the company was in a much better position now, than it was in the 2006 hosepipe ban.
The ban will begin on April 5.