Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012

To view details of hosepipe ban water use restrictions for each water company involved, click the links below. These are the most up-to-date listings for 2012 (updated 30/03/12)

Listed below is the government legislation used to determine what water companies can and must do when introducing temporary hosepipe bans.

Section 76 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (temporary hosepipe bans) (Flood and Water Management Act 2010)

76     Temporary bans on use

(1)     A water undertaker may prohibit one or more specified uses of water supplied by it if it thinks that it is experiencing, or may experience, a serious shortage of water for distribution.
(2)     Only the following uses of water may be prohibited—
(a)     watering a garden using a hosepipe;
(b)     cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe;
(c)     watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe;
(d)     cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe;
(e)     filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool;
(f)     drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use;
(g)     filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe;
(h)     filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain;
(i)     cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe;
(j)     cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe;
(k)     cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.
(3)     The Minister may by order—
(a)     add a non-domestic purpose to the list in subsection (2);
(b)     remove a purpose from the list in subsection (2).
(4)     A prohibition must specify—
(a)     the date from which it applies, and
(b)     the area to which it applies (which may be all or part of the undertaker’s area).
(5)     A person who contravenes a prohibition—
(a)     is guilty of an offence, and
(b)     is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(6)     A water undertaker which issues a prohibition must make arrangements for a reasonable reduction of charges which are made in respect of prohibited uses (including arrangements for repayment or credit where charges are paid in advance).
(7)     A water undertaker may vary or revoke a prohibition.

76A     Temporary bans: supplemental

(1)     A prohibition may—
(a)     apply to one or more specified uses of water generally or only in specified cases or circumstances (which may be specified by reference to classes of user, timing or in any other way);
(b)     be subject to exceptions (which may be absolute or conditional, and may be specified by reference to classes of user, timing or in any other way).
(2)     The Minister may by order—
(a)     provide for exceptions to a category of use in section 76(2) (whether or not added under section 76(3));
(b)     provide that a specified activity, or an activity undertaken in specified circumstances, is to be or not to be treated as falling within a category of use in section 76(2) (whether or not added under section 76(3));
(c)     define a word or phrase used in section 76(2) (whether or not added under section 76(3)).
(3)     In particular, an order may—
(a)     restrict a category of use by reference to how water is drawn;
(b)     frame an exception by reference to ownership of land by a specified person or class of person;
(c)     provide for a process that involves the use of a hosepipe at any point to be included in the meaning of “using a hosepipe”;
(d)     provide for a reference to a thing to include a reference to something that is or may be used in connection with it (such as, for example, for a reference to a vehicle to include a reference to a trailer).
(4)     In this section and section 76 “the Minister” means—
(a)     the Secretary of State in relation to prohibitions which may be issued by water undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in England, and
(b)     the Welsh Ministers in relation to prohibitions which may be issued by water undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in Wales.
(5)     Subject to provision under subsection (2), a reference to a hosepipe in section 76 includes a reference to anything designed, adapted or used to serve the same purpose as a hosepipe.

76B     Temporary bans: procedure

(1)     A prohibition takes effect only if this section is complied with.
(2)     Before the period for which a prohibition is to apply the water undertaker must give notice of the prohibition and its terms—
(a)     in at least two newspapers circulating in the area to which it is to apply, and
(b)     on the water undertaker’s internet website.
(3)     The notice must give details of how to make representations about the proposed prohibition.
(4)     The variation of a prohibition is to be treated as a prohibition for the purposes of this section.
(5)     A water undertaker must give notice of a revocation of a prohibition—
(a)     in at least two newspapers circulating in the area to which it is to apply, and
(b)     on the water undertaker’s internet website.
(6)     The revocation may not take effect until at least one notice under subsection (5) has been given.

76C     Orders under sections 76 and 76A

(1)     Section 213 applies to orders under section 76(3) or 76A(2) as it applies to regulations.
(2)     But—
(a)     an order made by the Secretary of State under section 76(3) may not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament,
(b)     an order made by the Welsh Ministers under section 76(3) may not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of the National Assembly for Wales, and
(c)     an order made by the Welsh Ministers under section 76A(2) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the National Assembly for Wales.

69 Comments on Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012

  1. It is ironic that some of the biggest users of water, commercial and professional, are the ones least affected by the ban.

    Surely if the drought is THIS bad, restricting those who use the greater proportion of water is preferable, leaving stocks for domestic use.

    Simply put, are the water companies prioritising their customers? If water does run out, how many people would die of dehydration because the water companies felt that the boss needed to wash his Mercedes every day, or that those windows were just too dirty.

    If there is a genuine need for a hosepipe ban, then it must encompass everyone, or no one at all. The whole point of a ban is to preserve water stocks for everyone, and exempting professional and commercial users just smacks the face of the nameless masses known as the consumer, who have yet again become the targets for rationalisation.

    (I do feel sorry for anyone who needs water to run their business, but it is preferable to keep stocks of water to hydrate the masses, and since stocks are SO low, maybe this extreme action is required).

    Alternatively, has anyone suggested to the water companies that they fix their leaks? Maybe. I know my father, who worked for Thames Water for many years told me that the priority was to always give a good return for the investments the shareholders had made, and that wasting money on fixing leaks was simply not the done thing, unless that leak was threatening to health or safety.

    • “I know my father, who worked for Thames Water for many years told me that the priority was to always give a good return for the investments the shareholders had made, and that wasting money on fixing leaks was simply not the done thing, unless that leak was threatening to health or safety.”

      Absolute *****.

      • Oh dear, I’ve been moderated – and it now looks like I’m agreeing with you.

        I should have used the word ‘rubbish’ instead of *****. :-/

    • Great point Steve! If you were in Charge you’d be just as tough on the Commercial sector as the Domestic Sector? Just “so the boss won’t be able wash his Mercedes everyday” (sic)

      So that the next time you drink your pint on a Friday night down town it would be washed with rain water? Or the place you bought your chicken breast from would have cut the meat using unwashed utensils. Or the clothes you buy will be unwashed from colour treatment.

      I really don’t think that the masses will die from dehydration if they didn’t drink from a hose. The water companies haven’t put a stop on you using your tap yet or even a bottle of Evian from the shop. Essentially alot of companies have a genuine need for water to keep things clean for public use. Which is lot more important than Joe Public being able to water his flower bed or wash his Ford at home.

    • stop the leak // May 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm // Reply

      what drought!!!! this is crazy rivers are overflowing and we have to watch the water use, seems to me the companies should stop coining it in and start investing in the outdated infrastructure in the UK.This country is becoming a joke the UK people need to stand up and demand action ,plus why do we pay a full standing charge we should get a discount for less service. no excuses or con jobs just sort the infrastructure out. I will be using my hose if i need to full stop!!

  2. Why don’t the people who (with outstanding incompetence) run the water companies get fired?
    I’ve had a string of these bans for half my life – that should have been enough time to fix the problem – unless your incapable!

    • because they make the company make a lot of money and keep the shareholders financially happy … 🙂 this is what this country is all about … look at banks, they had to be helped by the government and yet they still get their yearly millions of pounds bonuses.

  3. When I had a leak from my water supply pipe I rang and was told by the water supplier not to be to worried if it was only turning the meter reading slowly. I kept a note of the reading and it was using 1 cubic metre per day but obviously it is in the water companies interest to turn a blind eye to these types of leaks because it if in their financial benefit. There must be millions of customers who have leaks but these leaks that register on the meter are a big profit maker and its not in the interest of the suppliers to repair. Many leaks make big profits.

    • That’s over 40 litres per hour!

      If it is turning your meter, then it’s your leak and your water. Those pipes were laid by the builders, not the water companies, and you have to repair it. If you don’t the following is likely to happen:

      (a) You will be issued a notice under section 75 of the Water Industry act ordering you to carry out the repair. If you refuse the water company have the right to enter your property (with Police assistance if required), repair the leak and sue you for the cost.

      (b) The water will undermine your foundations and your house will fall down.

      (c) You will have an enormous water bill.

      Are you sure you were reading your meter correctly?

  4. has anyone been notified in writeing that there is a hose pipe ban? as im not sure you can rely on everyone knowing there is one simply because its been on the tv and radoi after all other legal matter are always delt with through a written request arent they?

    • Water companies are legally obliged to publish details of imminent hosepipe bans in two local newspapers and on their website – that’s all.

  5. Does the ban include the using of a pressure washer ?

  6. We are planning to build an extension. Will the builders be allowed to use a hose pipe to clean down each day and also use it for any water supply they may need to mix concrete/cement.

  7. Does the hose pipe ban include private water supplies in area. Not connected to mains a have well

    • You should be OK using a private water source how you wish, but please contact your local water company for more advice as restrictions on how much you can use may or may not exist.

  8. well said steve,it is always jo public,that takes the can back (this time the watering can)
    Highest taxes,lowest pensions,last in the queue for “hand outs”bottom of the list for housing,,need i go on? The English are known to be a nation of gardeners! so if we are lucky enough to have one, are we to watch it all die before our eyes!

  9. a company car is not a private motor-vehicle so does the ban applies to this as well?

  10. A “friend” is considering filling their hot tub with the hose as they have heard in the press about a “yellow card” warning policy. They reckon if they fill the tub just once in one go, the worst that can happen is a warning letter and after that they’ll respect the ban and avoid the fine. I’m not sure this is a sensible idea on the part of my friend – does anyone know if the warning letter thing is a genuine policy or a concoction of the tabloids?

    • First of all, any “yellow card” scenario would be at the discretion of the water company. It’s not a legal requirement so they may give a warning first and they may not.

      With regards hot tubs it would appear they are exempt from the ban anyway, but it’s a grey area and your “friend” should phone their local water company and ask them if it considers them exempt.

  11. I am using a hose pipe to wash my car, but connected to my Water Butt:(via pressure washer) I guess that’s OK?

    • As long as your water butt isn’t filled from your mains supply. For instance it’s OK if that’s rainwater or recycled bath water.

      • I think you will find that we can fill the water butt from our home supply as long as we don’t use a hosepipe……

  12. I understand my pressure washer can run off of a supply from my water butt. Is there any restriction on using my washer provided the supply is from the water butt which is fed by rain water from my gutters. (Thames Water area).

  13. As part of some ongoing building works our builders are going to repoint our patio but have said it would be better if it was pressure washed first so that the slabs are clean. We can’t afford to pay the builders to do jobs that we can do ourselves perfectly well but does the ban mean that the builders would be able to do it but we wouldn’t? Seems a bit of a grey area as my husband has been working with the builders all through the build on various parts of it.

    • Not easy to give a definite answer on this so I’d suggest you contact your local water company for clarification.

  14. Can you still wash a private car by using buckets of water but keeping this to a minimum ?

    I note an earlier question and reply that you can still use a hosepipe to wash company cars, is this the same if you have taken up the ‘Car Allownace opton’ as effeictively, it is still a company car?

  15. This privatisation of water companies is not working. These companies put the share holders on top. A national company would put all the profit in updating the whole system of pipework. Wait till the gov nationlise the NHS. Look what trouble we going to get than. All these fat cats are only interested in there big fat bonuses, they don’t care for the ordinary people. This present gov is the same, all the members of parliament sit looking like overfeed baboons. They are suppose to fight for us as common people but they are only interested in linning there own pockets.

  16. My car is a company car used for work only but the car is registered in my name but paid by my own company can I use a hose to wash my car

    • Pretty sure it needs to be registered in the name of a company, which is the standard definition of a company vehicle, though you might wish to verify with your local water company.

  17. So i can use a jug and fill up any size vessel i want and then just let it go in my garden, but i can’t use a hosepipe to clean my car……but if i use a car cleaning company thats ok to…..and if I’m disabled i can use a hosepipe…. these rules are completely wrong so i spend a fortune on my garden but then i have to let it die because i can’t use the water that i pay for……Thames water are completely wrong, i work in the construction industry and deal with thames water connections on a regular basis. They have no organisation and waste so much money and water. Every site we build now has water intinuation unit that now hold the water on site and this a directive by water companies. We have had the wetist 5 weeks in 2 years but still the ban is in place. My final statement get your house in order before you bitch about us wasting water that we pay for……

  18. my name is lee alan jones my company is called leealanjones does this been i can wash my car.

  19. I am aware of a couple of water features that are still running in housing developments in the Putney area. They are probably on a loop reusing the water but I suspect they will need to be topped up from time to time. Is this legal or should they be turned off?

  20. Hi, can fill my watering can from the outside tap, but not if the hose pipe is attached to the tap?

  21. Ivan Stevenson // May 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm // Reply

    Dose severn trent water have a hose pipe ban.
    Many thanks in advance, Ivan.

  22. So I cannot wash my car with a hosepipe with the nastiest and hardest water of all, supplied by Anglian Water, and charged at an extortionate rate, but someone with a company car can use one? Where is the fairness in that? If there is a ban, it should affect everyone and everything

  23. I can’t clean my car at home with a hosepipe but I can at work?

  24. Anglian Water Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012 – when does the ban end?

    • When they think there’s no need for it any more. Previous predictions have gone as far as saying into next year.

  25. I was planning to siphon grey water from my bathtub through a hosepipe to water my garden. Could you please advise if this is OK within the guidelines? Many thanks.

    • Yes you can use grey water as you wish.

      • Hi Hose thanks for your quick reply.

        do i have a problem ?

        i have a very old water butt full of very old water (years)

        can i still use it for the garden ( not on anything to eat ) or not ?? If NOT how do i empty it ??

  26. regarding my fish pond.

    i need to do a pre summer total clean out. to do this i need to remove the fish to a holding pond which unfortunatly is a small paddling pool. can i fill the paddling pool to hold the fish while i clean the main pond.
    best regards.

  27. Is there a hosepipe ban in Oldham, i can’t seem to find it. Unied Utilities are our supplier. Thanks.

  28. Hosepipe ban Blue badge owners, Can they hose their gardens?R J Baron

  29. It is very difficult for some one with replacement knees
    to carry anything heavy like a watering can.

  30. I have a section of decking that is covered in green algae (from the very wet few months we had here over xmas and start of year) and very slippery. I heard that if there is a danger to animal and human welfare, i.e. a slip hazard, then I am allowed to use a hosepipe (jetwash) to clear it up.
    Is this true?

  31. Great that millwall fc decide to strip off perfectly good turf and re-seed entire ground and have sprinklers on during evening

  32. So southeast water won’t lift their hosepipe ban as groundwater reserves are still below optimum levels say the bosses. Well, instead of spending so much money lining their pockets, use the money to drill boreholes and replace or repair underground reserves in order to keep undergound reservoirs full. REPAIR THE LEAKS QUICKLY. The answer is right under the nose. I sometimes wonder what ‘bright’ sparks we have in charge of the water supplies. Madeleine Lloyd

  33. Hello i just wondered whether you are allowed to use a hose to fill up a domestic pond that has fish/frogs/newts and other wildlife? Appreciate a response. oh and i’m nearby london. Thanks

  34. re

    (Gemma
    June 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Hello i just wondered whether you are allowed to use a hose to fill up a domestic pond that has fish/frogs/newts and other wildlife? Appreciate a response. oh and i’m nearby london. Thanks)

    i thought that the chlorine in the water would kill them????

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