Yorkshire tube ban comes into effect amid falling reservoir levels

Restrictions prevent activities such as watering the garden, cleaning the car or filling a swimming pool with rubber

A rubber ban has come into effect affecting around five million people across Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Water said the ban was the first it had imposed in 27 years and was necessary due to a significant drop in reservoir levels.

The county also recorded below-average long-term rainfall for the fifth consecutive month in July, according to the Environment Agency (EA).

Anyone breaching the temporary ban could face a fine of up to £1,000.

Similar measures have been implemented by other water companies, including across London and the Thames Valley, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and Kent and Sussex after the driest July since 1935.

Yorkshire Water said it had done everything it could to avoid restrictions being imposed, but it became necessary after reservoir levels fell below 50% for the first time since the 1995 drought.

Map showing tire ban areas

Map showing tire ban areas

Neil Dewis, the company’s director of water, said: “We need to ensure we have enough supply for people’s basic needs across the region this year and next, as well as making sure we are able to protect our local environment. limiting the amount of water we have to draw from rivers.

“The tire ban also allows us to apply for drought permits from the Environment Agency, which means we can draw more water from our rivers and reduce flows from our reservoirs so we can continue to provide water that our customers rely on us for.”

Analysis: BBC Yorkshire climate correspondent Paul Hudson

Although parts of the country have seen heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours, very little has fallen in Yorkshire.

With less than a week to go before the meteorological summer, less than 50% of expected rainfall has been recorded across the county – following an exceptionally dry spring.

As a result, the average reservoir level continues to decline – with the most recent figure now being less than 45%.

So Yorkshire Water will hope that the tube ban will reduce customer demand.

But it is also a technical step that will allow the company to apply to the Environment Agency to take more water from some of our rivers.

Water, for example, is already pumped from the River Ouse and piped to Eccup Reservoir in West Yorkshire, which supplies drinking water to Leeds.

As a result of the pipeline ban, they can now apply to get more.

Just as well, with more dry weather expected as we head into late August and early September.

The EA officially moved Yorkshire into a state of drought on August 16, a decision based on low river flows, groundwater and reservoirs.

The move doesn’t automatically trigger action, but it allows the agency and water companies to increase efforts to manage the impact.

Aerial view of low water levels at Baitings Reservoir, Ripponden, West Yorkshire, England, UK

Yorkshire Water said reservoir levels, such as here at Baitings Reservoir in West Yorkshire, had dropped below 50%

The tire ban applies to customers in West, South and East Yorkshire, most of North Yorkshire, part of North Lincolnshire and parts of Derbyshire

The restriction prevents activities such as watering the garden, cleaning the car or filling a pool with rubber – the full list of prohibited activities can be found here.

Police forces have already asked citizens not to report violations of the ban to them, reminding them that the measure is a “civil matter” and not a “criminal one.”

Yorkshire Water said it hoped people would respect the rules and thanked customers for heeding previous requests to reduce the amount of water they used.

He also said he had increased the number of teams working to fix leaks after confirming that, on average, he was losing more than 28,000,000 liters of water every day.

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