A GREEN-MINDED resident has slammed McDonalds in Leamington for using a jet wash during drought conditions.
Stuart Walker was cycling passed the McDonalds branch on Europa Way on Thursday morning (September 1) when he was stopped in his tracks by the sight of a staff member using a jet wash to hose down the car park area.
Stuart, who cycles to work from Kenilworth each day, said he was surprised to witness such activity.
He told the Observer: “A lot of areas in the UK are classified as in a drought and Severn Trent has been asking us to be careful with our water usage. Seems a lack of company responsibility to me.”
According to the Environment Agency (EA), 11 areas of the UK are now in drought, including the West Midlands. This follows one of the driest summers on record.
Housepipe bans are in place in a number of these drought areas, and while this has not yet been extended to the West Midlands, households and businesses across England are being asked by water companies to use water wisely.
The EA decides whether to declare a drought after speaking to water companies, government officials and groups including farmers’ representatives. It considers rainfall, river flows, groundwater levels, reservoir levels, and the dryness of soils.
This year has seen five consecutive months of below average rainfall across all regions in England and above average temperatures.
According to the EA, river flows, groundwater levels and reservoir stocks all decreased during July. Some river levels are the lowest ever recorded.
A spokesperson for Severn Trent said its water network was in good condition thanks to preparation work throughout the year but, nevertheless, it was asking people to use water wisely.
The spokesperson continued: “Our region has experienced the driest July in a century and we’re asking people to be mindful of their water use, as small behavioural changes can add up to a big difference.”
A spokesperson for McDonalds said: “As a business we take sustainability very seriously, and have recently issued all restaurants with guidance to avoid non-essential water usage.
In areas of the country where hosepipe bans are not in effect, restaurants may use pressure washers where this is considered essential for the safe operation of the business.”