Disabled and Over 65s – Hosepipe Ban

Under laws that control water restrictions/hosepipe bans, there are no special exemptions for anyone over 65, disabled people and disabled blue badge holders. So these groups still have to stick to the hosepipe ban in the eyes of the law.

However, all water companies are allowed to make their own exceptions to the rules. At the time of writing, most water companies are exempting anyone who has a disabled person’s badge (known as a “blue badge”) issued under the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) Regulations 2000. Note that this exemption is purely for the use of a hosepipe when watering a garden.

See our pages on individual water companies for more details.

 

86 Comments on Disabled and Over 65s – Hosepipe Ban

  1. Why? What does it matter if you are over 65 or disabled? Do they need to have green lawns in the hight of summer?

    • maybe you should read the rules.try carrying many buckets/watering cans up and down the garden numerous times when you are disabled.
      The rules say written permission is needed and it allows you only to water plants in pots or in the ground if they are under cover,I.E a greenhouse.
      The disabled or frail will not be able to water their lawns.

  2. Why is it wasteful for a person who is 64yrs old to wash his car,but i who at 73yrs old would not be classed as wasteful? I would think along with most sane people that this is an idiotic rule.How can it be right that someone can wash their car or water their garden just because they are a blue badge holder or are over 65yrs,what on earth has that got to do with anything?.But then again we are talking about SouthEast Water. that could explain it i suppose. J R.

  3. It’s possible, that it has more to do with the fact that under a host pipe ban watering cans are generally permitted, however South East Water appear to see it that those over 65 or disabled, might have difficulties carrying a watering can around, so they allow them to be exempt from the ban. Only an idea……

  4. Well i am 35 years old and i am in a wheel chair. It is practically impossible for me to water my garden using a watering can. I would have though that that would be pretty obvious! It is not easy to hold a heavy watering can on my lap and then push the wheelchair on grass and steer it and the same time.

  5. Hi…Help please!
    Elderly dissabled parents 84/86 with Southern Water. Can they hose the vegatbles that they grow?

  6. I’m 70 and do all the watering in our garden. I have a dodgy hip (although not officially disabled) and will not be able to carry watering cans.

  7. Does that mean my Dad can water the garden but I cant what a load of nonsense, who dreamed that one up we all need to do our bit to save water, Cut down on baths and showers were possible etc etc ………….

  8. I have contacted Thames Wtaer to clarify and they stated the following which is also posted on their website:

    The following will be exempted from the restriction:

    watering a garden attached to a domestic dwelling or watering plants on domestic premises using a hosepipe, by people with severe mobility problems who hold a current Blue Badge as issued by their local authority

  9. Hi Hose,

    Yes, it would appear that, despite the obvious difficulties some of our over 65’s would suffer as a result of the restrictions, Thames Water have not extended the exemptions to them. It may entail a little pressure (unintentional) so that they do include over 65’s.

    The full exemption list is as follows:

    i.using a hosepipe in a garden or for cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises, paths or patios, a private leisure boat or an artificial outdoor surface, where such use is necessary for health and safety reasons.

    ii.watering a garden attached to a domestic dwelling or watering plants on domestic premises using a hosepipe, by people with severe mobility problems who hold a current Blue Badge as issued by their local authority.

    iii.using a hosepipe to clean a private motor vehicle, or walls and windows of domestic premises, where this is done as a service to customers in the course of a business.
    iv.using a hosepipe to water an area of grass or artificial outdoor surfaces used for sport or recreation, where this is required in connection with a national or international sports event.

    v.drip or trickle irrigation watering systems, fitted with a pressure reducing valve and a timer, that are not handheld, that place water drip by drip directly onto the soil surface or beneath the soil surface, without any surface run off or dispersion of water through the air using a jet or mist.

    • Thanks again Ricky. We’ll be updating all this information once it’s been finalised by the water companies as they are still in their consultation phase.

  10. HI can I still wash my static caravan {holiday home} ?Thanks Wendy

  11. As a veg growing pensioner I won’t be watering my lawn or washing the car, if we oldies are allowed the use of the hosepipe the veg will get priority. Having lived through lean times and previous droughts anyone over the age of 65 will know all the tricks on conserving and reusing grey water, so feel sure most in this age bracket will not abuse any exemption from this ban, it will be a great help to the dodgy back and stiff hip brigade.

  12. I think it’s outrageous that over 65’s & disabled people will be exempt. Why should they be? I AM DISABLED & see NO REASON why I & other disabled people should be exempt. It’s not fair. If someone starts a petition against this, I will be first to sign it. It’s disgusting!

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly, I am not registered disabled and am not a Bue Badge holder however I have very recently had an operation on my knee and am finding it difficult to get around. Why should Blue Badge holders be exempt, I know of one particular person who holds a B B but is able to walk better than I can. I will also sign a petition

    • You say you are disabled, how disabled are you??

    • In answer to a comment posted by Quesi.
      I am a Blue Badge Holder
      I have severe spinal canal stenosis resulting in Neuropathic pain like you couldn’t imagine, COPD/Asthma, Angina & a arthritic Right Hip. For me to trundle around with a watering can, even with the greatest will in the World, is beyond my realms of capability.
      Granted your disabilities may/may not be as great as mine,but I will continue to use my hosepipe, within the South East water guidlines!

    • Hi Quesie,
      You say your disabled but you of all people should know, how hard it can be for severe disabled people, they for one don’t have the strength or ability to carry watering cans. Where as a hosepipe is easier and won’t kill them using it when going back and forth to fill a watering can. And if the government can use water cannons in the riots when there is a ban on, using thousands of gallons at a time, what is a couple of litres for disabled people going to hurt?

  13. I left my previous comment before I’d read all the other comments. I was so outraged. Having now read the other comments, I know that disabled people are only exempt if they have severe mobility problems & presumably are unable to water their gardens any other way. That being the case, why can they not ask a neighbour or family member to do it for them with a watering can? I stand by my previous comment that it isn’t fair.

  14. To all those bitching about disabled people being given permission. My wife is disabled. She cannot carry a watering can. So this exemption means that she can care for her plants. Enough with the “I’m alright, **** you” attitude

    • Two true Bruce, people need to think before slagging disabled people off, they didn’t ask to be that way!

  15. Is there a hosepipe ban in the RG27 area?

    • I am disabled & I need to use a hose as I’m unable to Carry a watering can due to arthritis from the waist down, I don’t wish to be a burden to anyone so this means I can care for my own garden so I’m with you on this one Bruce!

  16. Brenda Burchett // March 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm // Reply

    I for one am sick and tired of the able bodied of the population always thinking that for every disabled person there is always someone fit and willing standing in the wings ready to fetch carry or otherwise support them . Both my husband and I are registered as disabled. we are severely restricted in mobility and walk with crutches the short distance we can manage We live on our own and have no capable neighbours and those we have are also in 70’s and 80.s.There is no way we can carry water for any purpose and if they introduce stand pipes we are sunk. We are as economical with water as possible and are on meter but economical use of a hose pipe would make life so much easier even if it is only used to fill the bucket or watering can where it will be used. Why do those who have no conception of other peoples problems have to shoot their mouths off so loudly.

  17. hi i’m disabled and mostly in a wheelchair, we have a large patio area which i can walk on. We jetwash the grime off the slabs so i have more grip. I don’t drive a car, so am i likely to get a fine for jetwashing the slabs.

    • Hi Adam

      It depends on the specific exemptions offered by your local water company. Until we have the final list of exemptions from them it’s difficult to say. Some water companies are already exempting disabled people so hopefully that will apply to you.

    • I’m the same Adam. I don’t have a blue badge either! What a ridiculous way to decide if you can water the garden!

  18. I am registered disabled, cannot carry a watering can because of severe arthritis in my hands and severe back problems. Either I, or my 23 year son who is wheelchair bound, will water the garden with the hose – rather than asking my able-bodied daughter to do it using a watering can. She has enough to do, shopping and cooking and looking after 2 disabled people.
    those who are complaining about this exemption should spend some time with people who are disabled and learn to appreciate how difficult and restrictive it can be living with disabilities

  19. Can we use a hosepipe on our gardens in the North East England Washington

  20. Thank-you. Very helpful site.

  21. Well done South East Water.People over 65 and disabled should be exempt from the Hosepipe ban. I used to work with and for older people and I do know that there were many falls and broken hips during the hose pipe ban periods in the past. Older people stay at home most of their time and all they see outside is their garden and plants.Naturally they are concerned about them during the draught and start carrying water outside in saucepans to water their plants, hence the falls and broken hips which cost a lot of pain to older people and lots of money to the NHS( I remember discussing this with the local water authority and at some PCT meetings at the time).Therefore, the cost of older people using water must be minimal in comparison. Also, why shouldn’t we allow a bit of ‘ peace of mind’ to an isolated section of the society?

  22. South East Water area. Are you allowed to fill a water butt using a hosepipe, rather than lugging buckets backwards and forwards?

  23. I receive a disability allowance, due to my arthritis, but I do not have a ‘blue badge’, I do not drive and do not need one. I can not bend to fill watering cans, or carry them, so I need the hose to water my garden. I think the use of the blue badge to state if you are disabled is ridiculous! As many of us don’t have or can’t get one!

    • Hi Maureen

      You should check with your local water company. The blue badge label is being used but elsewhere it’s being stated as anyone who is registered disabled.

      • Hi Hose.

        Can you please tell me and other disabled bods, where this register, containing, I assume, the names and details of all Disabled people is held.

        I have been disabled for over 20 years now and although I receive the Higher rate of Mobility and Middle rate of Personal care of Disability Living Allowance and a Blue Badge I have yet to see this so called “Disabled Register”

        I madeofficial enquiries to the DWP about this several years ago but was told that it is a term that people often use but that in fact there is no such register in existence.

        Do you perhaps simply mean people who receive benefits in relation to disability?

        This alone is no guarantee of receiving a Blue Badge, the only benefit that does guarantee a Blue Badge is if you are on the Higher Rate of Mobility Disability Living Allowance. Trust me to receive this you really do need to be in a position where you are virtually unable to walk.

        The issue there is and I suspect most of the ignorant comments seen here a problem with the way that councils hand out Blue Badges to people not in receipt of HRoM of the DLA. I know a few people who have Blue Badges and are even able to use public transport and indeed I’ve even seen some of these people running for a bus. These are the Blue Badge holders that need to be stmped out so that the genuine disabled bods can have their lives made at least a bit more level.

        Apologies for the rant but some of the ignorance shown here is simply disgusting and bourne out of pure ignorance.

    • Hi Maureen, if you receive disability allowance, (I assume you mean Disability Living Allowance, DLA ), at the higher rate for mobility, you should automatically be awarded a Blue Badge if you apply for it. Remember, Blue Badges are not just given out by the local councils, you must apply for them. Hope this helps you.

  24. Can I use water from the bath to top up recirculating garden fountain. If nothing else it will provide a clean and foaming feature. Also, can I use a submersible pump to transfer water onto the garden or refill water butt?

  25. Absolutely discusting that over 65’s can ignore the water hosepipe ban. There is either a water shortage or there is not. We all need to do our bit. Most over 65’s are fit and able anyway. Maybe exempt for the over 80’s.
    Is it really that important to water the garden I think not!!!!!!!!!!

    • “Most over 65′s are fit and able” Can you please cite your source for this imformation………I assume that this is a factual statement not just supposition based on nothing more than your guessing.

  26. Hi, I am wondering how all the disabled people who need to use a hose, till the soil and plant whatever they are doing, if as many say, they do not want to involve others.

  27. Are people really that silly? I doubt most water is not wasted by hosing their gardens but more to do with the many leaks that never get repaired ?
    And I would not want my elderly parents to have to trundle with a heavy watering can nor someone disabled that’s ok for you able young people to comment on isn’t it? The water situation on this island is more to do with leaks and the mass of people living in the south east and less to do with rainfall!

  28. I see the problem here as the blue badge being the test. The genuinely frail should of course be allowed dispensation here, but just sit outside any shopping centre for 15 minutes and see the blue badge bregade hop and skip freely from their cars with no impairment at all. Its not all blue badge holders, so please don’t jump down my neck, but lots are system abusers (on the golden disability benefit) giving the genuine a real bad name. They abuse those systems and thy will abuse this one too.

  29. lam all for pensioners being exempt from from not using the hose pipe-but many have help from there gardener and also carers and relations are they also exempt?

  30. Why do people always presume to be disabled it’s got to be physical .My son is disabled with a blue badge .He has a lifelong developmental disability but he could quite easily water the lawn .People see him get out of my car thinking he is ok !!! but is he can you not see he has a delay and cannot calculate if the on coming car is going tom hit him ??

    • Yes indeed Melissa, many people have what is termed as “invisible” disability i.e. it just isn’t seen or easy to see.

  31. I have sat and read every comment from all. And I am disgusted with many comments given. I have been disabled now for some years and do not ask for anyone to feel sorry for me. And I know many others like me feel the same. We do not want things better then abled body people have just something helpful to carry on with our lives ???? I am a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator and have 80 households as members and many oap,s that I keep an eye on so I try to do something to help others instead of griping that someone is getting something better then me.

  32. I only became disabled recently following a workplace injury and i know how difficult it is to carry watering cans/buckets to wash the car with. Because of my mobility problems, i don’t wash the car often anyway but it seems silly to have “one rule for one and another rule for others” as it were. Surely it would be better to let us continue to use hosepipes but with some common sense and sparing use only?

    I feel some people will flout the ban and will take the point of view that if they are going to be caught, they may as well make full use of the hosepipe first! In other words, they will deliberately use it to excess!

    Either way, i can see a 3am car wash coming in the near future . . . . . . . .

  33. Well, the level of ignorance and vitriol spouted here just shows how far on we’ve come since the early 20th century doesn’t it, what an enlightened society we have become!!

    I’m with Ted on this one

    My body has been ravaged by a disease for the past 20 years now that leves me in enough difficulty carrying a 1/4 full kettle, let alone a full watering can that you whingeing able bods are able to do, so why shouldn’t I get exemption? (applied and for, considered before being granted, not just given willy nilly).

    I’ll bet the half of those whinging their hearts out on here are the tossers that take up disabled bays for their convenience just ’cause their closer to the door!!

    It is a sign of the ignorance when I see terms such as “registered disabled”, that register also went out with the Ark, there is no such thing as “registered disabled” any more, if there is I apologise, but, only is someone can direct me to such a register!! BTW thjrough thid disability I have managed to stay in full time employment, actually very possible nowadays if you have an employer with the right mind set, obviously they aren’t on here making the negative comments, also a good job we arent considered some other kind of ethnic or religious minority or there would be door getting knocked down in the middle of the night.

    For those ignaramouses making these comments, all the majority of disabled people ask is to have a level playing ground to play on, if able bods are still being allowed the use of watering cans to water their gardens and I can’t do this because I can’t lift a watering can, then the simple way round about it is to allow me to apply for an exemption and for this to be considered and granted if applicable. For those with short term “disabilities” such as post operative restrictions, instead of whinging on here, make an application for a temporary dispensation. That would be a constructive move wouldn’t it?

  34. Just a thought.

    For those who will be able to fill a watering can or any other such portable container and walking to their veggy plot or wherever, consider the following. You will have filled your container via the tap in most cases, (I applaud those re-using grey water).

    What is the difference between filling a two gallon container, weighing 20lbs or just over 9kg for the metricists amongst us, (an imperial gallon of water weighing 10lbs), and reeling out a hose, to use as after as merely a portable tap, to water one’s veg etc with the same amount of water ? Very handy when as I have said earlier, I for one can’t even lift a kettle of water or even walk 10 feet without severe pain kicking in. Most of the poulation will not have experienced real severe pain as I and many other people with real disabilities and chronic diseases have and do on a daily basis.

    To the selfish and ignorant posting here, try walking 10 feet in my shoes, try standing up for more than 30 seconds with my spine, destroyed after 3 surgeries went wrong in a 9 month period, try lifting a kettle of water with my hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, destroyed by an autoimmune disorder that I have had since age 30 that destroys bone and cartillage, the disease is painful in it’s active processes just as the joints are once the disease has destroyed them.

    Perhaps if you could experience even an hour of this you would all be a little more understanding of the issues some genuinely disabled bods face day in day out. As I say, most of the genuinely disabled in society don’t want pity, we don’t wany special treatment, all we ask is for a level playing field to allow us to be less compromised than our crippled bodies would allow us to be. Is is such a big deal to allow us to use a hose pipe as a portable tap?

    Think before you spout so much of your vitriol. You are welcome to my dispensation to use my hose pipe but only if you can take my disabilities and chronic diseases with it.

    • All I can say is, if the ones that are able bodied want disabled not to use a hosepipe then why don’t they offer to come over every day and water their gardens for them? Bet that would shut some up!!!

  35. My husband is disabled and receives the higher rate DLA. He has a heart condition and vision problems which means he is pretty much housebound. I am able-bodied but am away 12 hours a day and get home from work late at night. We do not have a blue badge because my husband does not drive and I do all the errands in the car myself. My husband has always taken care of the watering and other light gardening work (due to his disabilities one of the few things he enjoys doing that he actually can do) and does this while I am at work. Just interested to know what the rules are if there is one able-bodied person living in the home.

    • Without a blue badge technically he isn’t allowed to do it. He could however contact your local water company and ask for an exemption.

  36. Melinda, your husband is still entitled to a blue badge even if he can’t drive, it’s so that you can park close enough to enable him to go out to visit places if he can’t walk far.

    I would also like to say that I have seen people without blue badges using disabled parking spaces. I do struggle to walk and I find that is very thoughtless. Until I got my blue badge I was unable to go out as parking where I am is hard to find..so please don’t think ALL blue badge holders are scamming!

    And for the peace of mind of all who are against it…. I will not be using a hosepipe even if I am allowed to because of a blue badge as I would struggle to use a hosepipe

  37. We have a bowls green which will die if not watered, whats the difference between preference for sports of county type and sports of local type.I was told today by one lady on s e water we COULD water the strips we play on i.e the bowls greens but another chap said no we cannot. It does say that static watering systems can be used on sports field and the like but they could be left on for long periods and so use an enormous amount of water each time. Either we are all in this mess together or we aint. It just shows the problems caused by so many water companies owned by outsiders of the uk and the lack of investment in water supply whilst they make huge profits to enable dividends to shareholders. Get everybody on meters which would have the net effect of them being more careful, stop the leaks and half the problem would be solved….would it??

  38. Further to my last missive, if the husband has a blue badge can the wife use a hose or does he have to do it personally? No theres a question

  39. Can we fill a watering can from an extended hose to save our legs then if we are not disabled

  40. yes I have a blue badge! yes I love my garden yes my neighbours would report me for using a hosepipe how do they know I have a badge unless I show it to them ? I dont want sympathy !

  41. Some people on here need to get a life and consider living in a country where finding enough water to stay alive is a challenge. Maybe you should think of this before moaning about watering your precious plants and cars.

  42. Hi Joe P.
    I donate £2 a month to cafod, is it ok with you if i wash my car this week as i like it to be shiny,

  43. Ahh the ignorant think the entire NHS are fools, & doctors are stupid,, disablement has many guises. oh yes, also some invisible ones, can you see with your eyes a deaf person.
    can you see pain with your eyes, show some humanity to recieve some.
    The selfish pompous opinionated , will then trust a doctor with their own lives, please reflect & see how stupid you seem. or are you invincible ?
    judge not, lest you be judged…?

    • I agree with you. People stare at me when I park in a disabled bay as to them I look fine.

      As you say they CANNOT see the Pain my body is engulfed in.

      My Pain has been clinically diagnosed (NOT BACK PAIN) and is in My Legs Arms especially the Feet.

      But as you say, these narrow minded people ‘assume’ you are a CHEAT.

      To One observer i shouted very loudly at them ‘You cant see Cancer, but it does not mean I have not got it’ – They looked away timidly.

      – Oh and by the way I DO NOT have cancer, I was trying to make a point, that we are not all Cheats (although there are some)..

      Give us a chance..

  44. I have TWO FULL Water Butts..

    Can I use a hose or Water Jet taking water from these Butts to water the Garden when needed and not from any Mains Water

  45. Hi Hose, In response to a reply you left for Maureen on 28th March, I asked you on 5th April for some clarification regardint the “disabled register” as with so many others on here you made mention of people being “registered disabled”

    Neither you or anyone else has come forward and been able to tell me where this “register” is.

    Can I perhaps expand? There is no such thing in the UK as being registered disabled, there was a register back in 19canteen but this is long gone. Perhaps the fact that people have a blue badge makes them think they are logged into some mystical register?

    Not so, due to severe disability, I am eligible for higher rate mobility and middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance and yet, I am not in any way, shape or form, “registered disabled” I have even heard people stating that they are xx% disabled!! A system that hasn’t been in use in God knows how many years.

    Dispensation is given to Blue Badge holders…………. not people registered disabled or on the disabled register or people who are 53.75% disabled, plain and simple, if you hold a blue badge.

    It is surprising reading on here just how much ignorance there actually is regarding disability and blue badge holders, as some have said, there can be a difference however, terms such as the Blue Badge brigade and the likes are actually highly offensive to those of us with a genuine need. As I also said, if comments like that were aimed at ethnic groups, the site moderators would be on it like a rash and there may well be a few knocks on doors to follow.

    My point(s), if you aren’t 100% sure of your facts, then don’t come on here spouting some of the rubbish there has been printed so far. The old adage of walking a mile in my shoes, or limping a mile; you choose, never rings out truer than to the blue badge bay watch brigade who cast their judgement on all they see not using wheelchairs, crutches etc, you don’t see invisible disability because, eh let me see now, oh yes that’s it, it’s invisible.

    • I should point out that ‘registered disabled’ is not an invention of my own. This is a term being used by some water companies and is simply copied for that reason. The whole issue of blue badge holders being exempt is very ambiguous in a number of ways, not least in the use of such definitions.

      Point taken though.

  46. Thanks for making this clarification Hose. It seems trivial to some perhaps but it is an important point, just ’cause you have the Blue Badge or receive any disability allowances does not make you “registered” disabled. It simply means that you are recognised as being disabled and as such you may get certain dispensations to make your life easier or put on a level playing field with able bods.

    I think my analogy of using the hose as a portable tap makes an important point, hopefully the more constructive contributers might now understand why the water companies are making this dispensation.

  47. I AM registered disabled, with Hampshire County Council.
    After application and assessment, HCC sent me a ‘Yellow Card’. On it the type of disability is ticked. It has to be renewed every 5 years. It is only considered if the disability is permanent.
    This Yellow Card allows me to swim free at my local swimming pool, at certain times.
    Being disabled is a truly terrible thing. Blue Badges and Yellow cards are NOT perks –
    they are simply small forms of help for those who need it.

  48. I would happily trade my blue badge for a healthy pain free body
    Any takers????
    No didn’t think so

  49. Wow! so unfare! spotted a nieghbour in her garden last evening after dark watering all the the tubs in her garden with a spray hose so much so that water was coming under the partitioning fence, some dont care hey? so unfare on everyone else that are abiding by the rules 🙁 very disapointed by some.

  50. sandra stacey // May 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm // Reply

    Both my self are disabled and cant water garden with watering can can we use the hose with care, we would not do so unless garden was needing water at last resort

  51. Hi,

    I’m 15 and on crutches possibly up until I’m 18. I don’t have a blue badge because the LA wont give me one (due to possible medical intervention when I’m 18). Because I live with my gran who cant even lift a watering can even a quarter full, would I be able to water the veg using a hosepipe otherwise we could be having to spend more money that we cant afford (due to my medical bills) on food we could have grown.

    Also are we allowed to wash a dog with a hosepipe?

    Cheers.

    • Based on the ‘rules’ as they stand now, you wouldn’t be able to water your veg with a hosepipe. However, you should contact your local water company and ask if they’ll give you an exemption due to your circumstances. It’s at their discretion to do so.

      Washing the dog is OK as it’s a case of animal welfare.

  52. We have veg plot and greenhouse at bottom of long garden. When needed, my husband
    (82yrs) has to carry watering cans back & forth to keep veg plants going.
    Would it not be possible, to keep hosepipe down length of garden & fill cans from this. We have triger control on end of hose, so water would not be left running.

    Myra

    • Is there a good reason as to why South East Water is only 1 of 2 Water companies that still have a hosepipe ban ? Is there any chance that it will be lifted soon ?

  53. rosemary cornes // July 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm // Reply

    im a blue badge holder,with a prob carrying watering cans,will the ban be lifted soon? taking in to count the amount of rain we have had!!

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