Portsmouth water supply on the rise

Engineering director at the Portsmouth Water Company, Rod Porteous.Picture: Sarah Standing (123198-4924)
Engineering director at the Portsmouth Water Company, Rod Porteous.Picture: Sarah Standing (123198-4924)
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A CALL to be careful with water has led to 900,000 litres a day being saved.

Two years ago Portsmouth Water launched its ‘Water Saving Challenge’ which asks people to do a number of water-conserving measures, including limiting showers to four minutes and turning off the tap when you brush your teeth.

Customers have responded to the challenge and over the last two years 20,000 water saving devices have been given out.

The pack includes a ‘save a flush’ bag, shower timer, a shower and tap restrictor.

The firm says the equivalent of more than 1.5m pints of water a day has been saved, boosting supplies.

Neville Smith, managing director, said: ‘Even though we have had one of the wettest summers on record it is still very important that customers understand the importance of saving water and the role it plays in protecting our natural environment.

‘I would like to say thank you to our customers for embracing the Water Saving Challenge and helping save nearly 900,000 litres of water every single day.

‘The challenge does not stop now and customers can still continue.’

Earlier this year Portsmouth Water, which provides drinking water across the area, announced it would not be joining other companies by bringing in drought measures such as a hose-pipe ban.

In fact groundwater levels are at a record high.

Rod Porteous, engineering director at Portsmouth Water, explains.

He said: ‘For the six month winter period from October to March only one month had above average rainfall. It resulted in ground water levels falling.

‘But in April, June and July there were record levels of rainfall which meant ground water levels were up to nine metres above average in July and September.’

It takes three to four weeks for rain water to end up in aquifers, natural underground storage which Portsmouth Water takes our drinking water from.

Mr Porteous went on: ‘Rainwater levels in this part of the south east of England tend to be very localised and we had a very wet period in April, June and July. It was exceptionally high levels of rainfall and that recharged our local aquifers.

‘We have really seen the benefits of the heavy rainfall. We are always at the mercy of rainfall patterns.

‘Elsewhere it was the second dry winter that many companies experienced.’

At the moment the groundwater levels, which are measured at Idsworth, near Rowlands Castle, are six metres above average.