A HOSEPIPE and sprinkler ban has been announced for South East Water customers in Sussex.

The company said the ban will start on Friday, August 12.

The ban also includes customers in Kent.

South East Water said the use of a hosepipe or sprinkler will be restricted to "ensure we have enough water for both essential use and to protect the environment".

A statement on the South East Water website said: “This has been a time of extreme weather conditions across the UK.

“Official figures show this is the driest July on record since 1935 and the period between November 2021 and July 2022 has been the driest eight-month stint since 1976.

The Argus: A map showing which areas of Sussex will be impacted by the hosepipe banA map showing which areas of Sussex will be impacted by the hosepipe ban

“During July in the South East, we have only seen eight per cent of average rainfall for the month, and the long term forecast for August and September is for similar weather.

“The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave.

“We have been producing an additional 120 million litres of water a day to supply our customers, which is the equivalent of supplying a further four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne, daily.”

Around 2.2 million customers across Sussex and Kent will likely be hit by the ban.

South East Water is the second UK water firm to bring in a hosepipe ban so far this summer.

Last week, Southern Water announced a ban for nearly a million of its customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that comes into force on Friday, August 5.

It will mean hosepipes cannot be used to water gardens or clean cars, and ornamental ponds and private swimming pools must not be filled.

Flouting the restriction could lead to prosecution and a court fine of up to £1,000.

Water usage was up by nearly 100 million litres a day last month.

Southern Water supplied an average of 631 million litres of water a day to customers in July, up on its usual 540 million litre average.