Hosepipe ban rules explained as Brits face £1,000 fines for breaking law

This summer has seen the UK plunged into sweltering heat, with temperatures reaching an unbelievable 40C in some regions last month, and potentially hitting them again in the coming days.

In the south of England, the sun still hasn’t subsided, and while it isn’t as hot as those record-breaking temperatures, the lack of sun is takings its toll.

It has resulted in water companies bringing in a hosepipe ban to help deal with the current situation.

Only some areas are affected currently, though there is a strong likelihood that more companies will follow.

Hosepipe bans are a last-ditch effort to conserve water in a time of unprecedented heat and after months of speculation, they are finally being enforced.

Which areas are enforcing a hosepipe ban?

Southern Water has confirmed that a Temporary Use Ban (TUB) will come into effect on Friday, August 5.

It will impact customers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, meaning people will be unable to use hosepipes or wash their cars.

No date has been given for when the TUB will be lifted in the areas.

Dr Alison Hoyle, director of risk and compliance at Southern Water, explained: “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.”

South East Water have also announced a hosepipe ban, one that will affect its customers across Kent and Sussex.

It will come into effect on Friday, August 12.

In a statement, the company said: “We have been left with no choice but to restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers from 00.01 on Friday 12th August within our Kent and Sussex supply area until further notice.”

It has been put in place to ensure there are enough water supplies to deal with both essential use and to protect the environment.

Could other areas impose a hosepipe ban?

The National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) recently stated that water needs to start being managed across the UK to help deal with the weather.

They warned that if this is not done, the UK could face a future of queueing for emergency bottled supplies “from the back of lorries”.

NIC chairman Sir John Armitt also stated that the UK needs to invest around £20 billion into the nation’s water supply to help mitigate the issue.

Speaking to The Observer, he said: “You have to pay for (water), one way or another. That could be investing in new reservoirs or moving water around the country, as well as stopping leaks.”

What are the rules of a hosepipe ban?

The rules of these bans simply mean people cannot use a hosepipe that is connected to the main water supply.

It also means that other outdoor water sources are banned, including irrigation systems and sprinklers.

Activities such as washing cars, watering plants, and filling up pools or ponds are all limited in the process due to the bans.

Of course, you garden will still need watering during the heatwave, so filling up a watering can from the tap is completely fine.

If you ignore the ban, you could be subject to hefty £1,000 fine at most, as well as potentially facing prosecution.

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