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Public Asked to Reduce Water Usage NOW

31 May 2020 12:14

NI Water is calling for urgent action from everyone to reduce their water usage immediately.
Please reduce unnecessary use to preserve supplies.

Due to the hot weather and demand from people at home due to Covid-19 restrictions demand is outstripping supply. We need to ensure everyone has sufficient water for hygiene and hand washing.

Des Nevin, Director of NI Water’s Customer Service Delivery says

“If demand continues at this level it will lead to failures in our network and customers in certain areas will lose supply or suffer low pressure. Some customers over the past few days are already experiencing this, especially those on high ground.

“Yesterday we put 705 million litres of water into our distribution system, this is 120 million litres more than normal.

“We are asking our customers to help us, especially over the next few days where the temperature will continue to be above 20 degrees. We know from the increase in our night usage some customers are leaving sprinklers and hose on overnight, please stop.

“A hose uses more water in one hour than the average family uses in a whole day. While it is tempting, don’t fill swimming or paddling pools. This is a waste of a precious resource. Filling a 12ft swimming pool in your back yard uses the water for 500 people’s daily handwashing.  

“A pressure washer can also be a massive drain, so please think about whether the task is really essential at the moment.”

 “We want everyone to enjoy their home and garden, we just need people to think about how they use their water and if what they are doing is essential.”

Tips for Garden:

• Stop using garden hose pipes and sprinklers. Use a watering can instead of a hose to water plants. A hose uses more water in one hour than the average family uses in the whole day!
• Don’t fill swimming/paddling pools and hot tubs. This is a waste of a precious resource. Filling a 12ft swimming pool in your back yard uses the water for 500 people’s daily handwashing.
• Lawns are great survivors - a sprinkler can use as much as 1,000 litres of clean drinking water in a single hour; more than a family of four would use in a whole day. Even when they look dry and brown, they’ll spring back with the first heavy rain, so avoid watering them wherever possible.
• Buy water efficient plants - If you are buying new plants now the garden centres are open look out for water efficient plants that still brighten your garden
• Be pot savvy - If you’re potting up or planting containers, use ones made from plastic, glazed terracotta or wood. These tend to lose less water than bare terracotta. Bury a short length of pipe into your pot; if you water into the tube the water goes directly to the roots where the plant needs it most
• Mulch weeds away - Use mulches like bark chips or gravel to retain moisture and keep weeds down

Tips for House:
• Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - A running tap can use 6 litres of water per minute.
• Make full use of your washing machine - Half load programmes on washing machines use more than half the water and energy of a full load, so wait until the machine is full before switching it on.
• Take shorter showers - Why not challenge yourself and your family to shower one minute quicker? In a year you could save up to 10,000 litres of water!
• Take a shower instead of a bath - One bath can use up to 100 litres of water, whereas an efficient shower uses under 50 litres. But remember power showers can use more water than baths.
• Car washing - Avoid washing cars and vans frequently, use a bucket and sponge

NI Water are encouraging customers to sign up to its free text alert service which keeps them updated about anything that may impact on their water supply or any of our other services in the area. Sign up here

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