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You are here : At Home > My Water > low-pressure-hot-weather

Low water pressure during hot weather

Just like at home, if you’re showering and someone else is using the tap or flushes the toilet you might notice the pressure is lower. The same thing can happen on a bigger scale. So, when lots of people in your area are using water at the same time (Eg. first thing in the morning or in the evening), this can affect the pressure coming through your taps.

 

The weather outlook ahead

From Tuesday we will have warmer temperatures and lower rainfall. With many more of us staying home for holidays this year, we are likely to see a huge increase in demand throughout the summer.

The table below shows how much extra demand we are predicting compared to the yearly average.

Day Weather Temperature Predicted demand for water
Monday 29 June 18 1 million litres below average
Tuesday 30 June 19 90 million litres above average
Wednesday 1 July 20 163 million litres above average
Thursday 2 July 21 130 million litres above average
Friday 3 July 20 99 million litres above average

This table is for illustrative purposes only and shows our demand predictions for water compared to the average demand in the same period the previous year (June 2019)


 

Support for customers

Following the Government advice on hand-washing to help stop the spread of Covid-19 is important to us all so finding other ways to save water where we can around the home or outdoors will mean we can keep the water flowing this summer for everyone in the South East.

Need extra help?

We understand that this is a difficult time for some of our customers, find out more about the support we can offer.

 

Frequently asked questions

  • When will my pressure be fixed?

    Your pressure should improve outside peak demand times or when demand comes back down to normal levels.

    Our engineers are working around the clock to treat and pump more water into the network to meet the additional demand and to adjust the network to get water to where it’s needed most. However, in areas where there is low pressure, it is simply being used faster than we can put it in.

    Hot spells of weather cause huge spikes in demand so we are asking customers to be mindful of their water use during this time.

  • What is peak time? and why do I still not have water at 10pm or after?

    ‘Peak time’ means when demand for water is at its highest during the day. 

    Our usual peak demand times are 7am – 9am and 5pm – 9pm.

    However, during hot and dry weather, we can experience sustained high demand peaks between 7am – 11am and 4pm to 11pm.

  • When will this be resolved? Is this going to last all summer?

    Spells of hot and dry weather combined with more people at home due to Coronavirus means we are experiencing unprecedented demand for water. We’re doing our bit by maximizing the amount of water we can put into the network and we are asking customers to play a part too by taking steps to save water, such as avoiding sprinklers and hosepipes. We also ask sports pitches to stop watering their grounds during spells of hot weather to help ease demand on the network. 

    If demand for water comes down, combined with the additional water our engineers are pumping into the network, then pressures will improve.

  • I haven’t experienced this before, why is this happening? 

    Warm weather with more people staying at home has significantly increased the demand for water. 

    We are having to treat and pump an additional 108 million litres of water every day on average to meet the increase in demand, which is the equivalent of supplying an extra 400,000 customers.

  • Why aren't you considering a temporary ban on hosepipes/sprinklers etc?

    Hosepipe bans are introduced during water supply droughts. Following the heavy autumn and winter rainfall, water sources are in a good position. 

    We are not able to introduce a ban on hosepipes due to high demand for water, when sources are good. We want to work with customers to help reduce demand by avoiding non-essential use of water.

  • Due to COVID-19 I should be able to wash my hands why can’t you implement a temporary ban for non-essential usage?

    We are really sorry if you have experienced a loss of supply and are unable to wash your hands. 

    If demand for water comes down, combined with the additional water our engineers are pumping into the network, then pressures will improve. 

    Hosepipe bans are introduced during water supply droughts. Following the heavy autumn and winter rainfall, water sources are in a good position. 

    We are not able to introduce a ban on hosepipes due to high demand for water, when sources are good. We want to work with customers to help reduce demand by avoiding non-essential use of water.

  • What are you doing about your infrastructure to prevent this from happening?

    Between 2015 – 2020, we invested over £500 million on our network to increase storage capacity, find and fix leaks, maintain high standards of water quality and renew and lay new water mains.

    We’ve also been working hard on our network - we have driven our leakage down to its lowest point ever and have teams working round the clock to keep driving it lower.

    By 2025, we will have gone even further by investing an additional £788 million on our network. 

    However, the current demand for water is unprecedented with more people at home combined with the hot weather. In some cases, customers are using 40% more water than they would use normally.

    Our production sites are running beyond maximum capacity to treat and pump more water into the network to meet demand. 

    Customers can play a part too by using water for essential use only such as drinking, washing and cooking and avoiding non-essential use.  For tips on how to save water and for FREE water saving devices, please visit affinitywater.co.uk/savewater

    If we see a reduction in the demand for water combined with the additional water our engineers are pumping into the network, then pressures will improve.

  • Am I entitled to compensation?

    We operate to a water industry scheme which guarantees the levels of service to our customers.

    The Guaranteed Standards Scheme covers areas such as water pressure, interruption to supplies and emergency incidents. 

    Our teams investigate incidents of low pressure and will contact customers who are eligible for compensation. 

    Further Information

    • If we fail to meet these levels of service we will compensate customers, subject to those factors that are within our control. 
    • If the water pressure in our pipework falls below seven metres static head (a technical term used to measure water pressure) at the boundary of your property on two occasions, each one lasting one hour or more in any 28 day period, we will automatically pay you £25. 
    • You can only receive one payment under this guarantee in any financial year (1 April to 31March). This guarantee does not apply if the low pressure is caused by essential work we have to do to our water pipe network, or if there is a drought.
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