South East Water ha confirmed a ‘temporary usage ban’ for Kent and Sussex.
The ban, which is set to go into effect at midnight on August 12, will affect approximately 2.2 million customers.
South East Water, which lost 88.7 million litres of water per day due to leaking pipes last year, will be the second UK water company to announce a hosepipe ban this summer.
Southern Water announced a ban for nearly a million of its customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight last week, which goes into effect on Friday.
The hose pipe ban will affect approximately 2.2 million people in Kent and Sussex.
It will prohibit the use of hosepipes to water gardens or clean cars, as well as the filling of ornamental ponds and private swimming pools.
Violations of the restriction may result in prosecution and a court fine of up to £1,000.
According to an internal South East Water briefing on the new ban, other water companies may follow suit because they are’really thinking hard on their positions.’
As the hot, dry weather continues, the company has already asked its customers to turn off their hosepipes and sprinkler systems voluntarily.
‘Clearly, we are in a very dry and warm period, and the forecast is that this may continue for a number of weeks,’ said Lee Dance, South East Water’s head of water resources, last week.
‘We have been looking very closely at the current situation and assessing the likelihood of restrictions and other measures,’ Mr Dance added.
‘If our assessment shows that voluntary reductions in water use will not allow us to maintain essential water supplies or protect the environment, we may need to impose more formal bans.’ Last night, South East Water did not respond to requests for comment.
Thames Water is the most prominent water company that has hinted at a hosepipe ban this summer.
‘If we do not receive around or above average rainfall in the coming months, this will increase pressure on our resources and may, indeed, result in the need for more water saving measures, including restrictions,’ the company said in a statement last week.
The Met Office reported this week that July in southern England was the driest since records began in 1836.
Last month, the South-East and central southern England received an average of 5mm (0.2ins) of rain, while East Anglia received only a fraction more, 5.4mm (0.21ins).
With the exception of the North West, the majority of England has entered a period of “prolonged dry weather.”
The Environment Agency describes this as “the first stage of a drought,” raising the prospect of restrictions such as hosepipe bans.
Last week, the Isle of Man announced a hosepipe ban, and Welsh Water has stated that a similar restriction may be imposed in Pembrokeshire.