UNITED Utilities has urged its customers not to waste water with its reservoirs running low due to increased demand related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The water company has written to residents across the north west to warn that its water stocks are ‘much lower’ than normal levels.

It says that this is as a result of ‘exceptionally dry weather’ over the past few months and higher levels of usage due to Covid-19.

‘Additional steps to protect remaining water supplies’ could be taken if the situation does not improve.

In the letter, United Utilities said: “Life as we know it has changed so much since the Covid-19 outbreak, and with many more of us at home we have seen a big increase in the demand for water across the north west.

“Thankfully we’ve enjoyed some wonderful weather recently, which is a good thing during these difficult times – last month was the driest May on record in England and the sunniest start to the spring since records began in 1929.

“To meet the extra demand, we have put an additional seven billion litres of water into the network of pipes to ensure taps keep flowing.

“The increase in water use due to Covid-19, combined with exceptionally dry weather, has resulted in our reservoirs being much lower than we would like them to be at this time of year.

“The rain over the last few days, which has been sudden and resulted in flash flooding in some parts, has not been enough to make much of a difference as we’re still using water quicker than the reservoirs can fill up.

“The longer-term outlook suggests average rainfall with warmer temperatures, and with many more of us likely to stay at home for holidays this year we’re now asking for your help to save water where you can so we have enough to see us through the summer.

“Our reservoir levels across the north west are getting to the point when we may need to take additional steps to protect our remaining water supplies.

“We are doing everything we can to avoid having to introduce any water restrictions – if we can all do our bit, small actions can make a huge difference and we can make sure there is enough for all our communities to enjoy this summer while we all also fight the virus.”

‘Simple’ tips to cut water usage issued by United Utilities include turning off taps while brushing your teeth, having a shower instead of a bath, avoiding sprinklers or hosepipes and only using dishwashers when they are full.