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Everything you need to know about the UK’s hosepipe bans, including where they are

Rule breakers could be hit with a hefty £1000 fine

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

Man, it is hot out there. Naturally, it’s making us Brits a little thirstier than normal. But it’s also causing a shortage of water in some of the hottest parts of the country, which has led to a couple of water companies being forced to issue a hosepipe ban. 

A hosepipe ban means that households will be unable to use hosepipes or sprinklers to water their gardens, wash their cars, patios and boats, and fill up swimming and paddling pools. Defying the ban could result in a written warning at best – or a £1000 fine at worst.

As water companies try to replenish supply in the midst warmer weather, could your area be impacted? Here’s everything you need to know about the hosepipe ban. 

Is there a hosepipe ban in the UK? 

Yep. South East Water has just implemented a ban that will come into force June 26. South West Water extended the ban in its region in April this year.  

In what areas are hosepipes banned?

The South East Water ban will affect around two million people across Kent and Sussex. It comes as 4,000 people in the area were left with no water or low pressure as a result of supply issues and the company said it had ‘no choice’ but to implement restrictions. 

South West Water’s ban has impacted Cornwall and parts of north Devon since last summer and in April was extended to areas serviced by the Roadford reservoir in the west of the county, including Plymouth, Barnstaple, Tavistock and Torbay. 

Those affected are encouraged to use tap water from a bucket or watering can, or collect rainwater to use instead of using a hosepipe. Blue badge holders, businesses and farms are exempt from the ban.

Will the ban be extended to other areas of the UK?

There’s no sign of hosepipe bans being issued elsewhere just yet, however water companies are warning people to use water responsibly. Last month water companies were urged by the department for environment, food and rural affairs to put drought plans in place ahead of time. 

Water minister Rebecca Pow said: ‘We are ensuring key water supply infrastructure such as reservoirs can be built more quickly. Water companies must better deliver for customers, step up their water resource planning efforts and take precautionary steps to ensure water resilience.’

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