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29 March 2012, Text of letter from Sutton and East Surrey Water

The following is the text from the letter recived today from Sutton & East Surrey Water:

Re: Prohibition on the Use of Water – Phase 2

Thank you for your letter of 19 March 2012 to Mr. Hegarty concerning your representation regarding the temporary water restrictions and the exemption for newly laid turf.

I can confirm that at present our restriction (starting from 5 April) does apply to the watering of gardens and lawns using a hosepipe, including sprinklers. However, we have made the following exemption: The Company will currently allow the watering of newly laid turf by use of a hand held hosepipe (not sprinkler). This will be permitted for a duration of 28 days following the sowing and turfing activity provided that the customer can provide evidence of the work having been undertaken by a commercial organisation. In addition, we are also asking contractors to advise the company when new turf is laid. An email has been set up for this purpose, exemptions@waterplc.com. Please help us promote this exemption and the additional notification requirement to your members.

We do not permit the use of watering by hosepipe, including sprinklers, of new or established gardens whether planted commercially or privately. Also, we do not permit the use of watering by hosepipe, including sprinklers, where a lawn has been turfed or seeded privately.

However, this situation will be closely monitored. The legislation allows for different levels of restriction when introducing restrictions in water use and we are introducing this in accordance with our Drought Plan. This plan has a phased approach to be implemented as the water resource situation deteriorates. Our current phase relates to the banning of the use of domestic hosepipes. The next phase would incorporate restricting non-essential use including commercial activities.

We would very much like the voluntary support of all users to reduce their consumption of water where possible. We very much regret having to impose the domestic hosepipe ban but we have no choice if we are to protect the best interests of all our customers by ensuring the long-term security of their water supply.

We endorse your leaflet ‘Brown lawns are cool’ and in addition promote alternative methods of water use such as rain water from a water butt.