Hosepipe ban 2018: What is it and what are the rules?

3 July 2018, 10:41

Hosepipe
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

The UK has seen a heatwave hitting 30 degrees, so will we see another hosepipe ban this year?

It's been one of the longest British heatwaves since the 1970s, so what does a potential hosepipe ban mean for us all?

Here are all the facts you need to know...

What is a hosepipe ban?

A hosepipe ban means that it is illegal to use a hose, whether it's from watering our gardens and washing cars to filling up paddling pools.

Any use of a hosepipe in this period could see you being penalised. Water companies are granted the power to impose restrictions in times of "serious shortage", under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

It is up to these companies how they enforce the ban, so it could be at certain times of the day or restricted to certain activities.

Can I get in trouble for breaking the hosepipe ban?

If you're found guilty of using a hosepipe during the ban, you can be prosecuted in a criminal court.

You can also be fined up to £1,000.

Hosepipe
Picture: Getty

Why does the hosepipe ban exist?

The ban is usually introduced when it's particularly hot outside, as the demand for water is a lot higher than usual. 

The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day, and so this is expected to increase by a huge 50% during a heatwave like we're having now.

Water suppliers face growing concerns that water reserves could dry up, leading to issues around ensuring each household is getting this increased supply demand.

Thus, it one way to reduce water consumption is to enforce a hosepipe ban.

How can I reduce my water usage during a ban?

Little things like turning the taps off when you clean your teeth, reducing shower times to four minutes and keeping paddling pools covered at night will all help.

Water companies advise us to reuse water that you wash your vegetables in to water your plants. You can still water your garden using a good old fashioned watering can.