Warnings As Heatwave Continues

18 July 2013, 06:54

People on the South Coast are being urged to stay safe and keep an eye on others, as the heatwave continues, but there are no plans for a hosepipe ban.

The Met Office forecasts that in the next few days there is a 90 percent chance of temperatures in the south east increasing and the heatwave continuing to give rise to significant health risks. A Level 3 alert has been issued. It says the high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly, or those with serious health conditions.

West Sussex County Council is urging everyone to see if they are at risk, think about vulnerable family members or friends, and to remember top tips for staying cool. They're asking people to keep an eye out for neighbours and members of the local community who may be more vulnerable, and pop around to check they are okay during the heatwave.

West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing Christine Field said:

"While many of us will enjoy a spell of much warmer weather, we need to look after ourselves and our more vulnerable residents to ensure everyone stays healthy and well. Extreme heat can affect anyone, not just the more vulnerable.

"Please don't forget animals as well, and ensure they are looked after and kept cool with plenty of water. Please don't leave dogs alone in cars. It can get unbearably hot in a car on a sunny day. In fact, when it's just 22°C outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47C within 60 minutes."

Meanwhile, Southern Water say they don't have any plans for a hosepipe ban as their 'resources are in a strong position'.

They say the scorching weather has seen demand for water rise by 8% to 582 million litres a day - an increase of 41 million litres -  but this is only half that seen in some parts of the country.

The company says its water-savvy customers are the reason for this less-than-expected increase in demand - heeding advice about how to save water, energy and money, particularly in the garden - and its water resources remain above average following last year's wet weather.

Ben Earl, Southern Water's Water Efficiency Manager, said:

"We are grateful that our customers are using water wisely. They are taking advantage of lots of water-saving tips on our website for gardens and elsewhere in the home. This helps them not only save water but also money off both their water and energy bills.

"We also remind customers the importance of keeping hydrated in the hot weather and encourage people to keep a jug of water in the fridge for a cooling drink."

In hot, dry weather (and it has been a dry July so far with just 2.8mm of rain falling compared with the long-term average of 47.7mm) garden watering accounts for up to 70 per cent of all household water use.

Southern Water says gardeners are using tips, including:
-    Not watering lawns in dry weather - they quickly recover when it rains
-    Watering plants in the morning and evening to minimise evaporation
-    Putting mulch round the base of plants to lock in moisture in the soil
-    Recycling water from paddling pools
-    Installing water butts ready for the next rain showers

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