17 July 2013
The current heatwave has led to a 15% rise in the demand for tap water across London and the Thames Valley, the region’s main supplier confirmed today.
Since the mercury hit 30 degrees Celsius at the start of last week, Thames Water’s nine million customers have been cooling off and quenching their thirst with around 400 million litres a day more than the 2.6 billion they usually get through.
The additional water being used is enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools every day.
Demand for water has risen by 300 million litres a day in London and 100 million litres a day across the Thames Valley.
While groundwater, rivers and reservoirs are full of water following England’s wettest-ever year last year, the current increase in demand has led to the company increasing output of water at its 100 treatment works.
Jerry White, head of water for Thames Water, said: “While we are currently a million miles away from a drought, our treatment works are being cranked up a notch to keep pace with the spikes in demand.
“Peak periods are first thing in the morning when people are getting washed ready for work and in the evenings when people turn the sprinklers on and fill up paddling pools for the kids to enjoy.
“At peak times of day in certain areas of the region, demand for water has been increasing by between 20% and 50%.
“It’s like when a sale opens on Oxford Street: there’s plenty of stock but lots more people are trying to go through the door at the same time, so there can be a bit of a crush momentarily.
“With all this water being used, it is perhaps a good time to remember that we have masses of free water-saving products available to order on our website – www.thameswater.co.uk/freebies - shower-timers, water-efficient shower heads, tap inserts, save-a-flush devices for your loo. Just log on, pick what you want and we’ll send it to you. The purpose of these devices is to achieve the same results but use slightly less water, which can also reduce bills.”
On sale for water-efficiency enthusiasts are: water butts, solar-powered Irrigatia plant irrigation systems and Wowshine waterless car-washing kits – www.thameswater.co.uk/offers.
Jerry added: “The topsy-turvy British weather doesn’t disappoint. We’ve just emerged from some of the wettest weather we’ve ever had into the first heatwave for seven years.”