Northern Ireland hose pipe ban set to be lifted on Thursday
The hose pipe ban in place in Northern Ireland since the end of June is set to end.
The measure was introduced by Northern Ireland Water to prevent water shortages after the province enjoyed its warmest June in more than 150 years.
From midday Thursday normal service will resume, with hefty fines for overuse of water lifted.
CEO of NI Water Sara Venning thanked the public for a "fantastic response" to the appeal to decrease water use, adding the hose pipe ban had seen water use drop from three quarters of a billion litres a day - which is around 30% above average - down to near normal levels.
"This means our water treatment works, which were struggling to meet this exceptional demand with large scale water supply interruptions imminent, are now coping comfortably with demand," she said.
"This allows us to lift the hosepipe ban from noon tomorrow [Thursday].
"We would stress, however, that a continued focus on water conservation is essential. Ideally we would like to see demand reduced still further or at least maintained at its present level to avoid the prospect of the ban having to be reintroduced. This is achievable if we continue to use water wisely."
Ms Venning encouraged the public to maintain the habits they had adopted during the hose pipe ban, and said the recent rainfall had been a "welcome development", but said they had "not been sufficient to have a positive impact on levels in many of our impounding reservoirs".
The lifting of Northern Ireland's hosepipe ban coincides with the introduction of the first hosepipe ban of the summer in England.
Company United Utilities has said a temporary ban will be introduced in the north-west of England from August 5 in order to "safeguard essential supplies".
Belfast Telegraph Digital