Five more days of 30-degrees-plus temperatures, and with no sign of rain any time soon has seen Thames Water follow other companies in issuing drought notifications
The summer-long drought and another heatwave with temperatures over 30 degrees for several days has prompted the authorities to issue a second set of health warnings just weeks after the previous one.
And Thames Water, the suppliers for most of the borough and the capital, are to follow the lead of other water companies in south-east England and impose a hosepipe ban “within weeks”.
The Met Office last night issued an amber warning for extreme heat covering four days from Thursday to Sunday for parts of England and Wales.
The warning comes as the forecaster predicted 35C in places – below last month’s record temperatures, which peaked above 40C in some spots.
The vulnerable are still likely to experience adverse health affects, while the wider population could also be affected, the alert said.
Delays to travel are possible and there is an increased risk of water accidents and fires as more people visit coasts and beauty spots, the Met Office warned.
The UK Health Security Agency had already issued an amber alert covering southern and central England from noon today until 6pm on Saturday.
And the impact of the long period without rain – July 2022 was officially the driest on record, with some places recording no rain at all for the whole month – has seen Thames Water today warn that it will implement measures to reduce water use.
“Given the long-term forecast of dry weather and another forecast of very hot temperatures coming this week, we are planning to announce a temporary use ban in the coming weeks,” said the company, which has 15million customers across London and southern England.
It urged customers to “only use what they need for their essential use”.
Hosepipe bans have already been imposed by Southern Water in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there’s been a hosepipe ban on the Isle of Man for a month, and Kent and Sussex is to get a hosepipe ban by South East Water from August 12.
Meanwhile, the London Fire Brigade has repeated its public appeal for people to exercise great care when using parched public parks and open spaces, urging extra care when disposing of glass bottles (which can act as a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays and spark a fire), cigarettes and matches, and to avoid altogether using portable barbeque equipment.
Today, Croydon Council published a set of advice for residents to better cope with the rising temperatures.
“It’s important to protect yourself and others in periods of hot weather,” they said.
“Heat and prolonged exposure to the sun can pose health risks for some people, especially those with underlying health conditions.”
They offered these advice points:
- If you are going outside or travelling, try to avoid the peak hours of the day where UV rays are strongest. This is usually between 11am and 4pm.
- Apply sunscreen and keep to shady areas where possible. Drink lots of fluids and take water with you. Wear loose clothing, a hat, and UV-protective sunglasses.
- Avoid extreme physical exertion. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, such as sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day, for example, in the early morning or evening.
- Temperatures inside can be higher than temperatures outdoors, so it’s best to close curtains or blinds on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, vulnerable adults, or animals.
- Keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.
And the council’s health advisors say this, “If you feel dizzy, weak or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink some water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate. Avoid excess alcohol.
“If you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms, or abdomen), rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks.
“Most people should start to recover within 30 minutes and if not, you should seek medical help. Call 111 if you feel unusual symptoms, or if symptoms persist. Call 999 if a person develops any signs of heatstroke as this is a medical emergency.”
- More advice and information on keeping safe in the summer sun can be found on the NHS webpages
- For the latest weather advice and forecast, visit the Met Office website
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