THAMES Water has ruled out further restrictions after the recent heavy rain - but says its hosepipe ban still stands.
Following the exceptional amount of rainfall in April and the first few days of May, the company said that although its hosepipe ban remains, it could now rule out applying for a Drought Order, which is required for a supplier to impose further restrictions.
The announcement came after the Environment Agency published a report removing drought status for 19 counties in England. However, it confirmed London and the South East are still in drought and, that despite the rain, groundwater levels remain lower than the infamously dry year of 1976 in some areas.
Richard Aylard, Thames Water’s sustainability director, said: "It is a great relief for us that we can now rule out seeking a Drought Order this year.
"No water company wants to impose restrictions on its customers for any longer than absolutely necessary. Despite all the recent rain, we still have a serious groundwater shortage, and we could yet have a long hot summer, so, much as we’d love to, it would be irresponsible for us to lift the ‘hosepipe ban’ just yet."
Some boreholes in the Thames region are still at 'exceptionally low' levels and it will be several days before it is known just how much of the recent rain has found its way underground to top them up.
Meanwhile, the company says it is reviewing how the hosepipe ban is operating and is looking at ways to minimise the impact on people whose livelihoods depend on using water.