People urged to use less water after demand spike during heatwave

A water company has said that some customers have been without tap water after a spike in demand during the hot weather.

South East Water urged its customers to put away their hose pipes, garden sprinklers and garden water toys.

Despite producing an extra 150 million litres of drinking water a day, the company saw a spike in demand on Friday which outstripped the amount that could be pumped through the network.

The spike in the amount of water consumed by Kent and Sussex residents, and visitors on their staycations, had put a strain on the network.

Some people had very low pressure or no water at all.

South East Water tweeted: We're sorry to customers in Bolney who are experiencing low water pressure or no water. Our teams are working hard to restore supplies asap."

After closing its bottled water station at The Rawson Hall in Bolney on Saturday night, the company added: "We expect all customers to have supplies restored overnight, but we'll restock in the morning if needed. Once again, we're very sorry to all customers affected."

South East Water's head of central operations Steve Andrews said: "Our water technicians have been working round the clock to produce this extra drinking quality water needed – the equivalent of filling to the brim almost half a million baths – but with this record amount of water being used daily it is getting harder to keep up."

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BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 08: Brighton beach is packed as the South of England basks in a summer heatwave on August 08, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom. Parts of England are enjoying a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Southend beach in Essex. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Southend beach in Essex. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
People enjoy the warm weather in Green Park as the heatwave continues in London on August 8, 2020. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
FALMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 8: A book reader relaxes in the sun on Gyllyngvase Beach on August 8, 2020 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. The RNLI has called on beachgoers in the south west of England to follow water safety advice and adhere to social distancing."nLast week, the charity carried out 30 rescues in one day on just one beach in Cornwall. (Photo by Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images)
A woman uses a fan to keep cool as people enjoy the hot weather outside a bar on the South Bank, in central London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Southend beach in Essex. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Polish tourists put on some sun cream outside Buckingham Palace as the heatwave continues in London on August 8, 2020. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
MARGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 07: Boys somersault into the water from the lido jetty wall at Margate beach on August 07, 2020 in Margate, United Kingdom. Parts of the England are preparing for a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Large crowds gather at Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A woman jumping into the water at Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A woman walking down Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A man doing a slip into the water at Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A woman standing in the water with large crowds of people behind her at Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A woman and a man having fun in the water at Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A man doing a slip into the water at Southend beach as temperatures are set to rise to as high as 38C due to a huge heatwave hitting the UK
A woman take a smart phone photo of the animal rights group PETA's ice sculptures in the shape of farm animals with a placard that says 'Meat = Heat animal agriculture causes climate change' as they melt on what is one of the hottest days of the yearIn London, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Temperatures in Britain are forecast to reach around 36c (97f), with the heatwave lasting four days. AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
People enjoy the beach in what is expected to be the hottest day of the year, in Bournemouth, Dorset, southern Britain Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Britain braced for record-breaking temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit) in southeastern England amid a heatwave lasting through the weekend. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
Two people relax in deck chairs as beachgoers enjoy the sunshine and sea on what is now Britain's hottest day of the year so far, in Brighton, England, Friday, July 31, 2020. Temperatures have reached 35C (95F) at London's Heathrow Airport. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: General view of tourists on the beach on August 07, 2020 in Bournemouth, England. Parts of England are enjoying a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
MARGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 07: Crowds build up on Margate beach as the temperature rises on August 07, 2020 in Margate, United Kingdom. Parts of the England are preparing for a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
MARGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 07: Boys somersault into the water from the lido jetty wall at Margate beach on August 07, 2020 in Margate, United Kingdom. Parts of the England are preparing for a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 07: Brighton beach is packed as the South of England basks in a summer heatwave on August 07, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom. Parts of England are enjoying a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 07: Brighton beach is packed as the South of England basks in a summer heatwave on August 07, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom. Parts of England are enjoying a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARRY, WALES - AUGUST 7: A police van on the promenade as people gather on the beach at Whitmore Bay, Barry Island on August 7, 2020, in Barry, Wales. Forecasters have said Friday could be the hottest day of the year in some parts of the country, with temperatures predicted to rise as high as 38C in places. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
BARRY, WALES - AUGUST 7: A general view of people on the beach at Whitmore Bay, Barry Island on August 7, 2020, in Barry, Wales. Forecasters have said Friday could be the hottest day of the year in some parts of the country, with temperatures predicted to rise as high as 38C in places. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: The sun is reflected in a silver sphere at Boscombe beach on August 07, 2020 in Bournemouth, England. Parts of England are enjoying a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Members of the public enjoy an outdoor swim at West Reservoir in Stoke Newington on August 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Parts of England are enjoying a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
MARGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 07: A dog cools off in the seawater lido on August 07, 2020 in Margate, United Kingdom. Parts of England are preparing for a three-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach up to 38 degrees centigrade in the South East. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
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He explained that water is a fresh product which is produced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It is drawn from deep underground or from rivers and then has to be treated to "a very high standard" at a water treatment works before being sent along miles of pipe to homes and businesses.

South East Water said the average paddling pool needs 530 litres of water to fill them – more than three times the total daily amount of water usually used by one person.

Mr Andrews appealed to every one – household and businesses – "to keep water for essential use only while the heat is on this weekend and next week".

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