Thames Water to announce hosepipe ban affecting 15 million customers ‘in coming weeks’

“The timing is not confirmed due to a number of operational and legal procedural requirements but we will be updating our customers, partners, regulators and stakeholders at the earliest time to ensure a co-ordinated approach.

“In the meantime, we continue to urge our customers to only use what they need for their essential use.”

Those living in areas with bans are facing restrictions including not being allowed to use a hosepipe to water their garden, clean their car and fill up a swimming or paddling pool.

A fine could be issued, should someone be found to have broken the rules.

The news comes just after the Met Office issued a four-day amber warning for extreme temperatures in parts of England and Wales as a new heatwave looms.

The warning, for Thursday to Sunday, comes as the forecaster predicted 35C in places – below last month’s record temperatures, which peaked above 40C in some spots.

The South-east of England has been worst hit by the drought, having had 144 days with little or no rain this year.

Statistics have shown that it has been the driest year since 1976 across swathes of the country, and some of the bans are expected to last until October.

This is a breaking news story. Follow for more updates.

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