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    United Utilities cancels hosepipe ban

    United Utilities has cancelled its hosepipe ban days before it was due to start after rainfall replenished the water supply. The company was due to bring in the restrictions on 5 August but said that slightly cooler temperatures, recent rainfall and water-saving efforts by its customers in the North West had meant it did not need to introduce them at the moment.

    But the firm warned there was still a possibility of restrictions if more rain did not arrive in the coming weeks.

    Dr Martin Padley, water services director, said: “Given the improved position, helped by recent rainfall, we do not want to inconvenience customers unnecessarily at this time.”

    “However, the long-range forecast from the Met Office is one of relatively dry weather into the autumn, so future restrictions are still a possibility if more rain doesn’t arrive.”

    Some tips for conserving water include spending a minute less in the shower, reusing bath water in the garden, only boiling what you need and using a washing up bowl.

    Large parts of the UK have experienced heatwave conditions in the past few weeks, with temperatures at the end of July rising above 35C (95F).

    There was a brief respite to the dry spell at the weekend when torrential downpours hit many parts of the UK. One report had claimed the rain was too heavy, but United Utilities said the recent rainfall had been a help.

    The mercury could climb back up to 31C in London and the South East this weekend, the Met Office has said, with sunshine returning to most of the country.

    Thames Water is urging its customers to save water as it expects demand to rise in the hot weather again.

    Andrew Tucker, water efficiency manager at Thames Water, said: “There is plenty of water to go around but the sheer volume of water being used all at the same time across our 20,000km of pipes means it’s a challenge for us to produce it quick enough to meet demand.”

    But while London is set to sizzle again even without the new hosepipe ban, the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland will enjoy temperatures in the mid-20s, with scatterings of rain.

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