East Surrey water chiefs hail "welcome" drop in rainfall in March

First published in News

Water chiefs have hailed a “welcome” drop in rainfall across East Surrey during March.

Sutton and East Surrey Water said that after a “three-month deluge,” it was “somewhat welcoming to record that March delivered below-average rainfall.”

The company stated that the three previous months had brought “unprecedented heavy rainfall.”

Sutton and East Surrey Water recorded 566mm, or 22.2in, of rainfall, compared with the long-term average expected - 213mm, or 8.3in.

March rainfall, it said, totalled 34mm, or 1.3in - well below the long-term monthly average expected of 54mm, or 2.1in.

December and February both drenched the region with more than double their long-term average, while January’s deluge of 232mm, or 9.1in, was more than three times the monthly average of 75mm, or 2.9in. January was also the wettest month ever recorded since Sutton and East Surrey Water began compiling rainfall figures in 1910.

The record levels of winter rainfall caused massive problems throughout the region, not least with the Sutton and East Surrey Water treatment works at Kenley being threatened by flooding in the Bourne Valley.

But, with the storm-fuelled disruption abated and the ‘drier’ March, the company said it is now possible to see the positives of all the winter rainfall.

A Sutton and East Surrey Water spokeswoman said the company's resources are at their highest level ever for this time of year.

Underground borehole recordings – the company extracts 85% of its raw water from subterranean aquifers – are extremely healthy, and Bough Beech Reservoir, the company's main surface reservoir near Edenbridge in Kent, remained 100% full on March 31.

The spokeswoman said: “While Sutton and East Surrey Water is now well-placed to cope with customer demand as spring and summer approach, it also means that upper ground and surface levels should have ample water for plants and wildlife.”

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