WITH MUCH of the UK planning on a ‘staycation’ holiday this summer, Welsh Water is ramping up its operations to accommodate the extra demands for water it is anticipating across some parts of Wales over the summer holidays.

The company has confirmed that demand for water has soared to near record levels over the past 72 hours, with prolonged high temperatures as Wales basked in the glorious sunshine.  Welsh Water usually treats and supplies about 800 million litres of clean water a day to its three million customers – roughly the same amount needed to fill 320 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Over the last 3 days, Welsh Water has had to supply an additional 15 million litres of water per day.

With 23 million people in Britain expected to staycation this year, Welsh Water predicts that this demand will continue with a 10% increase in demand expected between now and the end of September, which could increase to as much as 20% depending on weather and tourist numbers.

As a result, the company has ramped up production at its water treatment works so that they are producing enough clean water to keep up with the demand. Regional work is also taking place to prepare popular tourism areas such as Pembrokeshire, Gwynedd and Ceredigion for the influx of visitors.

Welsh Water already takes steps to help conserve water. Each month, Welsh Water’s teams fix around 2,000 leaks and work around the clock to keep water flowing through its 27,400km network, so that there is no unnecessary waste of water.  Along with the more traditional methods used to detect leaks such as pipeline surveying and pressure monitoring, the company is also using innovative techniques for leak noise logging and temperature profiling to monitor the network  and allowing a quicker reaction time.

The company is also offering hints and tips to customers to help them play their part in helping avoid wasting water. These include:

  • Don’t leave the tap running while washing hands or brushing teeth
  • Take a shower instead of a bath
  • Wait until the washing machine and dishwasher are full before putting them on
  • Don’t fill the paddling pool to the top – and when you’ve finished, use the water on the plants in the garden
  • Don’t use a sprinkler on the lawn to keep it green – the colour will soon come back once it rains
  • Use our ‘Get Water Fit’ calculator to help with hints and tips on how to save both water and money – there are even free products available if you sign up

Businesses are also being asked to make an extra effort not to waste water, particularly caravan parks, golf courses and farms. Even making small reductions in the amount of water a business uses has the potential to make a big difference in helping Welsh Water to keep water flowing this summer, with the added benefit of reducing a business’ water bills and helping it protect the environment.

Ian Christie, Managing Director of Water, Asset Planning and Capital Delivery Services said: “As a company, we usually expect a surge in demand during summer months and we are proactive in how we adjust our operations during this time. This summer will be different due to the amount of people planning to holiday in Wales and meeting this demand will naturally bring some additional challenges for the company.”

“Naturally we welcome holidaymakers to Wales and want them to enjoy their time here but it will mean we need to stretch the water around more people than usual.  That is why we are already taking big steps to ensure we as a company are as fully prepared as possible.  But we also need our customers and those visiting Wales to play their part too by being mindful of how they use water and most importantly don’t waste any of it. We’re working with caravan parks to provide as much water efficiency information as possible. By working together in this way we have the best chance of making sure there is enough water for everyone for the entire summer period”.

“And let’s not forget that customers and visitors can also help by letting us know if they spot a leak when they are out and about in Wales.  The sooner we are told then the sooner we can send a team out to fix it”. 

More information on water saving tips and details of how to get hold of water saving devices, visit our water efficiency pages.