Is there a hosepipe ban in my area? (2023)

Jeremy Vine guest slams water companies for hosepipe ban

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TABLE OF CONTENT

  • Is there a hosepipe ban?
  • Is there a hosepipe ban in my area?
  • What can't you do during a hosepipe ban?
  • Where else could see a hosepipe ban?

July saw the hottest temperatures ever recorded in British history, with 40.3°C provisionally recorded at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on July 19. The Met Office issued its longest-range Amber heat warning ever and its first ever Red warning for extreme heat over the conditions. As a result, many water companies have flagged their reservoirs are low.

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Is there a hosepipe ban?

A hosepipe ban has been enforced for Southern Water customers from August 5 and South East Water from August 12.

The firm said the ban was a "vital step" to protect the habitats of the River Test and the River Itchen where it extracts water.

Southern Water explained: "For the past eight months we’ve had very little rain – way below average. In fact, we’re experiencing one of the driest years on record (for the past 131 years). River flows are now approximately 25% lower than they should be at this time of year, so we're asking you to limit your use to reduce the risk of further restrictions and disruption to water supplies, but more importantly to protect our local rivers."

South East Water said its ban, which commences from 12.01am on August 12, came from excessive demand in hot and dry conditions.

The firm said: "The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave. We have been producing an additional 120 million litres of water a day to supply our customers, which is the equivalent of supplying a futher four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne, daily."

Is there a hosepipe ban in my area?

The hosepipe ban is in force for areas of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for everyone who has their water supplied by Southern Water.

While the South East water ban is in effect for some areas of Kent and Sussex.

A map showing all areas affected by both TUBs can be found below.

Is there a hosepipe ban in my area? (4)

Southern Water is introducing a Temporary Use Ban (TUB) for its customers in Hampshire and the Isle (Image: SOUTHERN WATER)

Is there a hosepipe ban in my area? (5)

Hosepipe ban: A map of South East Water's hosepipe ban (Image: SOUTH EAST WATER)

What can't you do during a hosepipe ban?

The following activities are banned:

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe 
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe 
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
  • Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe; 
  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe. 

Is there a hosepipe ban in my area? (6)

July saw the hottest ever day with 40.3°C provisionally recorded at Coningsby, Lincolnshire (Image: GETTY)

What happens if you water your garden in a hosepipe ban?

Once a ban is put in place, individuals who attempt to dodge the rules face the possibility of a hefty fine. In fact, rule-breakers could be subject to a fine of as much as £1,000 if they choose to use their outdoor water supply.

Click here to find a full list of the penalties you could face for flouting a hosepipe ban.

This is the first time a TUB has been seen in the region since 2012.  And according to the Government, this is likely to be the first of several drought measures put in place ahead of the next heatwave.

Dr Alison Hoyle, Director of Risk & Compliance at Southern Water, said: “We haven’t taken this decision lightly and we know the Temporary Use Ban will have an impact on our customers. We’re working with the Environment Agency to ensure that we act responsibly to protect our environment. We’re asking everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to do their bit by supporting these measures and only use the water that they need. 

“We’re experiencing one of the driest years on record for over a century and we’ve seen record temperatures. River flows are approximately 25% lower than they should be for July, which is equivalent to losing more than 25 million bathtubs of water. We're asking our customers to help protect our rivers and the habitats that live there by cutting back their water use. We believe a Temporary Use Ban is a responsible and vital step to reducing the amount of water being taken from the Rivers Test and Itchen.”  

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Is there a hosepipe ban in my area? (7)

Water firms have flagged their reservoirs are low, and Southern Water has banned hosepipes (Image: GETTY)

Where else could see a hosepipe ban?

Anglian Water has ruled out a hosepipe ban for the East of England despite the dry summer. Spokeswoman Regan Harris said officials would continue to monitor the situation but there was "no immediate cause for concern".

She added: "We're not proposing any restrictions at the moment but we definitely need to be mindful of the water we are using, to make sure there's enough to go around. If we get a second dry winter things will look significantly different for next year."

Hafren Dyfrdwy has encouraged people to use water wisely over a dry spell for central Wales.

James Jesic, Managing Director of Hafren Dyfrdwy, said: “Our region has seen a dry start to the year, with less rainfall than we would usually expect between April – June 2022. The current heatwave combined with the dry weather means that reservoir levels are lower than we would like them to be at this time of year. Although we have no current plans for a hosepipe ban, we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.”

All-important gardening job to do now as hose pipe ban looms

Chris Bonnett, founder and CEO ofGardening Express, said keepingplantswell irrigated is one of the biggest challenges when temperatures rise. And sometimes, we'll need to water our gardens twice a day - so what jobs should you be doing now before the hosepipe ban hits?

Click here to find out more about the essential gardening jobs you need to do TODAY.

Wessex Water set out a drought plan that will "set out what will happen before, during, and after a drought to help maintain a secure supply of water to customers, and protect the environment". The plan says: "Under the most extreme circumstances, and once all other actions have been taken, would we consider applying to the government for an emergency drought order.

“This would allow us to implement stand pipes, where water would be available to collect from a specific location, and rota cuts where water would only be available from customers’ taps at certain times of the day.

"Once implemented this could mean the closure of schools and workplaces like during the Covid-19 pandemic, and cause significant societal disruption, as water is conserved to meet basic needs and the needs of the most vulnerable in society.”

Portsmouth Water, which supplies water across the city and the surrounding towns, called on customers to use water “wisely” amid the Southern Water hosepipe ban.

Bob Taylor, chief executive of Portsmouth Water said: “Whilst I can reassure you, we are not facing an immediate risk to our water supply, there is no significant rain currently on the long-range forecast and so, being prudent, I would like to ask all our customers to think about how they use water - and to use it wisely. We really appreciate all the support we have already received from our customers through the recent spell of exceptionally hot weather.”

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    Bristol Water has previously promised it did not need to impose a hose pipe ban, but warned reservoirs are running lower than normal.

    A spokesperson for Bristol Water said: "Rainfall this year has been below average and as a result reservoir storage is lower than normal. However, our modelling and forecasts do not indicate the need to impose hosepipe bans or any other water supply restrictions during 2022."

    Thames Water, supplying London and the Thames Valley, is not expecting to introduce any restrictions on water use, but urged people to use water responsibly.

    Andrew Tucker, Water Demand Reduction Manager at Thames Water, said: “During spells of hot weather, water usage can often rocket, with hoses and sprinklers watering gardens and paddling pools filled. That makes it even more important to be mindful of water usage to ensure there’s enough to go around for everyone.”

    “While we’re not currently expecting to introduce restrictions on water use this summer, it’s important that households remain responsible with their usage and help us to limit the pressure on our resources.”

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