Published: April 16, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea residents urged to 'be sensible with water usage'

Residents in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week been urged to 'be sensible with their water usage' by the firm that supplies tap water to the town as drought conditions worsen.

The advice from Bristol Water comes after Somerset was added to a list of official drought zones by the Environment Agency, which has warned that water shortages could last until Christmas.

A Bristol Water spokesman told "Although there is no immediate threat to public water supplies at present, we ask customers to be careful in their use of water and to remember that every drop used ultimately has to come from the same rivers and springs that are now at risk of damage due to the drought. Whatever is wasted today could well be much needed later in the summer."

The firm says the last two years have been the fourth driest in the past 160 years, while winter rainfall from November to March has been the lowest since 1975/76.

Threats of hosepipe bans in Burnham have reduced"We have been taking action for months to conserve reservoir stocks. We have done this by maximising use of groundwater sources and transferring large volumes of water from the River Severn."

Cheddar Reservoir - which supplies the Burnham area - is currently 90% full and was 94% full this time last year.

He added: "If the generally dry conditions continue over the next few months, reservoir storage will rapidly fall, reducing the water we will have available later in the year and make it difficult to refill reservoirs to a safe level in time for 2013."

"We are carefully monitoring the levels of reservoirs relative to trigger levels set out in our drought plan. These trigger levels will initiate actions to reduce water consumption."

"Initially these actions will be appeals and the continued provision of water saving devices to help customers use less water. If these appeals are not effective we may ultimately have to consider banning the use of hosepipes and other discretionary water uses by domestic customers."

Bristol Water is offering free water-saving packs to customers in the Burnham area, which can be requested online here.


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