A utilities company is asking their customers to adhere to the hosepipe ban as a drought has been officially declared in Thames Valley.

In support of Thames Water’s hosepipe ban that came into force on Wednesday, Leep Utilities, a multi-utility network owner and operator based in Salford, is encouraging its customers in Bicester and across Thames Valley to adhere straight away.

Leep owns and operates the essential “last mile” water network infrastructure for the Kingsmere village community on the edge of Bicester and takes its supply from Thames Water.

The utilities company also owns and operates a number of other water networks for residential and commercial developments in the Thames Valley region, in Reading, London, Aylesbury and Didcot.

After months of below average rainfall in the region, and the recent extreme temperatures in July and August, water resources are depleted.

The temporary use ban comes after reports of the river Thames reaching its lowest level since 2005 and reservoir storage levels being the lowest the region has seen for three decades.

It means people will not be able to use hosepipes to water gardens, was cars and windows, or fill paddling pools.

Those found to breach the rules could be fined up to £1,000.

Read more: New park opened by town council with facilities for disabled children

Director of Customer Operations at Leep Utilities Helen Bishop said: “Leep is the water supplier for Bicester’s Kingsmere development and, as we take its water supply from Thames Water, it’s our duty to assist them in protecting supplies and supporting their imminent hosepipe ban.

“Customer demand is at unprecedented levels, and we now have to move into the next phase of our drought plan to conserve water, mitigate further risk and futureproof supplies.

“We’re hoping that all our customers living in almost 1000 properties in Kingsmere will take notice of the ban and do their bit to help.

“Climate change is making droughts more likely.

“The Environment Agency has just declared a drought in Thames Valley – along with over half of England – and the entire UK is in pre-drought stage.

“Thames Water now deems these restrictions to be necessary as part of its drought planning and we support them wholeheartedly.

“It will help protect supplies this year and next, as well as protecting the local environment by limiting the amount of water drawn from rivers.”

Businesses will be allowed to use a hosepipe if it is directly related to a commercial purpose.

There are restrictions on using a hosepipe if not for those essential commercial needs – so using a hosepipe to clean a path outside a business property, for example, would not be allowed.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

A message from our Editor

Thank you for reading this story and supporting the Oxford Mail.

If you like what we do please consider getting a subscription for the Oxford Mail and in return we’ll give you unrestricted access with less adverts across our website from the latest news, investigations, features, and sport.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok for more. 

You can also join the conversation in our Facebook groups: stay ahead of traffic alerts here, keep up to date with the latest from court here, share your favourite memories of Oxford here, get your daily dose of celebrity news here and take some time out with news that will make you smile. 

If you’ve got a story for our reporters, send us your news here. You can also list an event for free here.