East Surrey soaked with more than twice expected rainfall in December

First published in News

East Surrey was soaked with more than twice the average expected monthly rainfall and the second highest ever recorded last month.

The stormy downpours, which brought floods misery to many during the festive season and left parts of Horley, Reigate and Redhill submerged, have continued and already provided the total rainfall expected for January.

Bosses at Sutton and East Surrey Water said the December downpours delivered 193mm, or 7.6in, of rainfall.

The company said that was 233% of the long-term average of 83mm, or 3.2in, expected. It was the second highest December rainfall recorded, the highest being in December 1914.

January rainfall has already matched the 75mm, or 3in, average expected for the month, with more than two weeks still to go. Not surprisingly, Sutton and East Surrey Water’s main surface reservoir at Bough Beech, near Edenbridge in Kent, is full. Groundwater supplies provide 85% of the company's water, and 15% of that is extracted from Bough Beech.

Richard Rap, Sutton and East Surrey Water’s operations manager (production), said: “We are all looking forward to a rest from all this rain, but the silver lining is that it means our resources are currently healthy.”

He said: “And if this position is maintained it will be particularly useful if we have a long, hot summer.”

Winter rainfall is crucial to the area because it replenishes the underground sources from which Sutton and East Surrey Water pumps 85% of its supplies. Rainfall at other times of the year tends to be sucked up by growing plants, evaporates or cannot seep deep into the ground because it is hard.

Sutton and East Surrey Water supplies water to more than 675,000 people in East Surrey and parts of West Sussex, west Kent and South London.

Customers are asked to ring 01737 772000 if they believe they have discovered a leak.

Website: www.waterplc.com

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