The heatwave has not yet brought drought conditions to North Devon but as reservoir levels drop households have been urged to use water wisely.

Wistlandpound water levels are looking lower than they have been for quite some time. Picture: Tony GussinWistlandpound water levels are looking lower than they have been for quite some time. Picture: Tony Gussin

Wistlandpound Reservoir near Kentisbury is now 42.4 per cent full but South West Water (SWW) says the region benefits from a range of water sources and it is using these to meet demand.

Meldon Reservoir on Dartmoor also serves North Devon and is at 45.6 per cent, but there is still plenty of water at Roadford, which is 22 times the size of Wistlandpound and is still at 76.5 per cent capacity.

The water company says its flexible use of resources means water from Wistlandpound and Meldon is used first and levels in these smaller local reservoirs reflect the lack of rain and an increased demand for water.

Rob Scarrott, head of environment at SWW, said: “We’re working hard behind the scenes to meet the increased demand for water during the prolonged hot and dry weather.

“Demand in North Devon has been particularly high and for that reason we are asking customers in the area to use water wisely. The more we save now, the more will be left for the rest of the summer.

“Customers can help us conserve supplies by being water wise, particularly in the garden, which typically accounts for much of the additional demand we see during hot weather.”

Meanwhile, in the Combe Martin area, some people have been complaining of a ‘muddy’ taste to their water.

SWW said in a statement it would like to apologise but said the water is fine to use.

Wistlandpound near Kentisbury has dropped quite a bit. Picture: Tony GussinWistlandpound near Kentisbury has dropped quite a bit. Picture: Tony Gussin

It added: “The warm, dry weather has caused a natural change in the raw water at Wistlandpound reservoir, which supplies Bratton Fleming and Horedown Water Treatment Works.

“We have installed an extra treatment stage at both of the water treatment works, and many customers are reporting the taste of their supply is improving.

“In the meantime, chilling a jug of tap water in the fridge and adding a dash of lemon can assist with lessening the taste and odour issue.”

SWW water saving tips: Use a watering can instead of a hose, wash the car with a bucket and sponge, use water from your water butt first. Indoors, turn off the tap while brushing teeth, keep a jug of water chilling in the fridge, have a shower instead of a bath, save washing up water for plants, only use washing machines and dishwashers when you have a full load, fix any leaks.

The water level at the dam end of Wistlandpound Reservoir. Picture: Tony GussinThe water level at the dam end of Wistlandpound Reservoir. Picture: Tony Gussin

Find out more information on the South West Water website .

Water capacity at Wistlandpound Reservoir is down to 42.4 per cent. Picture: Tony GussinWater capacity at Wistlandpound Reservoir is down to 42.4 per cent. Picture: Tony Gussin