MORE than 60,000 homes in the south west are from 8am this morning subject to Wales' first hosepipe ban in more than 30 years.

Households served by the Llys y Fran reservoir in Pembrokeshire are subject to the order, which will last until further notice, and is officially known as a temporary use ban and means a hosepie cannot be used for actitivities such as filling paddling pools, watering plants or washing cars or windows.

The ban, which is force in Pembrokeshire and also applies to the western part of Carmarthenshire, comes as a wider area, stretching west from Bridgend and north to Ceredigion, has been declared officially in drought 

Supplier Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has imposed the ban but the firm has made no direct reference to any fine that those ignoring, or unaware, of the ban may be subject to in its public notice.

UK legislation does allow fines of up to £1,000 for those breaking hosepipe bans.

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Officials say this is the driest year since the famous heatwave of 1976 and water levesl in Pembrokeshire have hit drought levels with Pembrokeshire having only seen just over 60 per cent of the expected rainfall between March and July.

Welsh Water say while there is no immediate risk to water supplies for the area, it is taking what it calls a "necessary" step to ensure enough water remains to continue supplying customers and over the coming months.

Ian Christie, the firm's managing director of water services said: "It is not a decision we take lightly because we know the inconvenience it can cause, but if we don’t take action now then there would be a real risk of further restrictions later which is something we really want to avoid for our customers.  With no significant rain in the forecast it is important that we all work together to make sure the water continues to flow."

He said it has also increased manpower in the area by 70 per cent meaning it is now detecting and fixing 40 per cent more leaks compared to 2021.

Firms in parts of England have already introduced hosepipe while Welsh Water says its ban applies to only four per cent of its customers.

Customers in the affected area have already been sent letters to advise them that they will not be able to use a hosepipe to carry out activities in and around their properties such as watering plants or filling paddling pools or hot tubs.

They can still carry out the activities using mains water from a bucket or watering can.

People can check if they are in the affected area using a postcode checker that Welsh Water has available on its website.

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