Thames Water is planning to introduce a hosepipe ban, putting water use restrictions on 15 million homes.

The company is expected to announce the hosepipe ban in the coming weeks.

It comes as the Met Office issues an extreme heat warning for much of the south of England and parts of South Wales.

A spokesperson for the water company said: “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.

“We have written to the Environment Agency to update them on our approach and informed Ofwat.

“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.”

Met Office amber weather warning for extreme heat

This is what the Met Office warns to expect:

  • Adverse health effects are likely to be experienced by those vulnerable to extreme heat
  • The wider population are likely to experience some adverse health effects including sunburn or heat exhaustion (dehydration, nausea, fatigue) and other heat related illnesses
  • Some changes in working practices and daily routines likely to be required
  • An increased chance that some heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail.
  • More people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes, rivers and other beauty spots leading to an increased risk of water safety and fire-related incidents.
  • Some delays to road, rail and air travel are possible, with potential for welfare issues for those who experience prolonged delays

A Met Office spokesman added: “Temperatures will increase across much of the UK over the coming week.

“Temperatures will be highest across parts of England and Wales with these peaking on Friday and Saturday.

“In addition to high daytime maxima, temperatures overnight will remain very warm, especially in larger urban areas.”

What is a heat health alert?

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Heat Health Alert is an England-only service considering the impact of prolonged extreme heat on public health, especially for those with long-term health conditions.

What classes as a heatwave?

A heatwave is an extended period of hot weather, relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year.

The current temperatures far exceed those normally, therefore we are experiencing a heatwave.

The UK also has its own conditions to be met for a heatwave to be declared.

A UK heatwave threshold is met when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold. The threshold varies by UK county.