A hosepipe ban will take full legal force across the North from 6pm tonight, NI Water has confirmed.
People in Derry are being asked to limit the use of tap water to the essentials, like drinking, cooking and washing.
During the ban, the following activities are prohibited:
- Watering a garden using a hosepipe;
- Watering outdoor plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe;
- Drawing water, using a hosepipe for domestic recreational use;
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool using a hosepipe;
- Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning a private motor vehicle using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning paths or patios of domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe;
NI Water has strongly advised the public to adhere to this advice as 'ignoring it will only cause further strain on resources and could lead to interruptions to supply'
The company’s CEO Sara Venning said: “We have maximised our water production and need customers’ help to reduce demand. We are asking customers to take heed of the hose pipe ban and stop non-essential water use - using hoses and sprinklers is causing demand to exceed the capacity to supply.
“I would like to pay tribute to our staff who have been working over recent days and through the night to ensure water treatment works are running at full capacity. In addition, tankers have been deployed to assist with topping up service reservoirs. However, we also need the help of the public and businesses to reduce the level of demand. In recent days our treatment works have been operating at near maximum levels with over 700 million litres of water being put into the network which is some 25% more than normal for this time of the year. Despite these steps, demand continues to outstrip supply.
“The hose pipe ban is in place to protect the public against the increased threat of supply interruptions. During this time, it is essential that we all work together to reduce the unprecedented levels of demand on our network.”
Customers in some areas, including parts of Belfast and Armagh, as well as other rural high lying areas, have already experienced loss of pressure and intermittent supply failures.