Southern Water downplays hosepipe hotline plans

An image from Southern Water's water-saving campaign.
An image from Southern Water's water-saving campaign.

SOUTHERN Water says it does not plan to set up a dedicated hosepipe hotline, where customers could call up and report neighbours flouting the hosepipe ban, due on April 5.

Reports in national newspapers suggested they were thinking about bringing one in, but the Worthing-based utility company, which services most of the Horsham District, said the customer contact centre would be the first point of contact.

Drought was declared in the South East in February, and the announcement of a hosepipe ban and other water restrictions followed soon after, a result of the second-driest 10 months on record.

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “We want to work with our customers to ensure restrictions are followed and they have been very willing to help in the past.

“If anyone is aware of someone who is contravening the ban, they should call our customer contact centre on the usual number – 0845 278 0845.”

They said that they hoped people would act responsibly and pointed towards the last drought in 2006, when customers helped save 43 million litres of water a day, almost half of what Southern Water currently loses in leakages at 83 million litres.

They added: “During the last drought, there were occasions when we visited customers to ensure they fully understood the restrictions in place and why it is important that people use water wisely.”

County Times readers on Twitter were evenly split over whether it was worse to flaunt the hosepipe ban, or to report your neighbours doing it.