Record temperatures lead to spike in demand for treated water across the Midlands

27th May 2020

The sunniest April on record’s been followed by some of the sunniest days in May we’ve seen for years¹, leading to a big increase in demand for Severn Trent’s treated water from customers across the Midlands.

That means the company’s water treatment works are working flat out to keep up with customer demand which is now running at well over two billion litres of treated water each and every day the sun shines. That’s 83 million litres every hour of the day!
At the same time, there’s also less rain than normal, with Met Office figures showing rainfall in April was 40% down on average², at the same time as we basked in almost 50% more sun than normal².
So Severn Trent’s asking people to take a few simple steps to be a bit more water wise when they’re using treated water from the tap which might be better saved for drinking and washing, especially at the moment.
Doug Clarke, water efficiency guru at Severn Trent, said: “We know it’s hot and everyone wants to water their garden or fill up a paddling pool for the kids but we’d just ask you to stop and think about whether that’s the best way to use water at the moment.
“Most people don’t realise it, but filling up a large paddling pool uses as much water as a family of four in a week!
“We don’t want to stop your kids having fun though, so, if you do fill the paddling pool, perhaps only fill it a little bit and then pop a sheet over it when you’re not using it to keep the leaves and creepy crawlies out. You can then use it for longer and, when you’re done, you can use it to water the lawn and your flowers.”
Some other top tips from us are:

  • When watering plants, use a watering can rather than a hose, and don’t worry about your lawn because it’ll bounce back once it starts raining again, so you can put the sprinkler away.  To put things into perspective, a sprinkler can use as much as 1,000 litres of drinking water in just one hour – which is more water than a family of four would normally use in a whole day;
  • Get yourself a water butt – it’s a great way to save water when it does rain and you can use the water - for your garden when it’s dry – we’ve got discounted water butts available
  • Lots of people’s loos leak and could be pushing up their water bills unknowingly. To check to see if you have a leaky loo – we’ve got free dye available here to help you see; and
  • Ditch the pressure washer and use a bucket and sponge to wash your car – or get the kids to do it so they can have some fun with wonderful water.

According to Met Office statistics for April sunshine³, many of the counties Severn Trent serves were among the sunniest in the UK:

  • Leicestershire, 66% above average, with 234.2 hours, beating the 2015 record of 222.7 hours;
  • Nottinghamshire, 66% above average with 239.4, beating the 2015 record of 236.9 hours; and
  • Rutland, 67% above average with 247.4 hours, beating the 1942 record of 227.8 hours.
Notes to editors
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