Postcode lottery of hosepipe ban in London

Water companies operating in London


With the wettest drought on record coming to an end tomorrow in the South, we have to make sure that Londoner’s are not subjected to a post-code lottery when it comes to the hose pipe ban.

In Greater London, there are actually four water companies providing Londoners with their water and not just Thames Water as commonly thought. The other three are Veolia Water Central covering a sizable area of outer West & North-West London; Essex & Suffolk Water covering a smaller area of outer East London; Sutton & East Surrey Water serving a small area of outer South London; and finally  Thames Water covering inner, North, South-East & South-West London.  Thames Water also supply all the sewerage services for the whole of London and beyond.

The reality is that while Thames Water will be ceasing its hosepipe ban tomorrow, Veolia Water Central won’t be along with Sutton and Easy Surrey Water.  As a result we’ll have some streets in London where one side of the street will have the ban, while the other side will see it lifted.

Now there may be some good hydrological reasons for that as Thames Water derives all its water from rivers and reseviors which has been filled by the recent down pour of rainwater.  Veolia, on the other hand depend on ground water levels which have not been quite replenished in the some way. Nevertheless, Londoners shouldn’t be subject to geographical inequalities if there are other ways around this.  One way forward would be for Thames Water and Veloia to “trade water” between themselves, so that areas dependent on groundwater supplies can also have the hose-pipe ban lifted tomorrow.  We heard yesterday at City Hall that some of this water trading already occurs between water companies. If thats the case already, why not in this instance?


Sewage map of London & South-East

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