Southern Water Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012

Updated 27/03/2012

This is the statement Southern Water have made regarding their hosepipe ban water restrictions starting on April 5th 2012.

We will now use this page as the definitive guide on Southern Water’s restrictions and exemptions. Please therefore refer back here if you have seen something contradictory on another part of our site which may have been written when other rules applied.

You may comment or ask questions using the comments box at the bottom of this page.

Southern Water’s statement:

What activities are restricted (prohibitions) from April 5?

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe;
  • Cleaning a private motor vehicle using a hosepipe;
  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe;
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe;
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool;
  • Drawing water using a hosepipe for domestic recreational use;
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe;
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain;
  • Cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises using a hosepipe;
  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe;
  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.

In these prohibitions:
“garden” includes a park, gardens open to the public, a lawn, a grass verge, grass used for sport or recreation, an allotment used for non-commercial purposes and any other green space; “hosepipe” includes anything designed, adapted or used to serve the same purpose as a hosepipe; “using a hosepipe for domestic recreational use” includes operating water slides and other recreational equipment.


The following are excepted from the prohibitions:

  • Watering a grass surface used for regional, national or international sport events;
  • Cleaning a private motor vehicle by a business specialising in hand car washing which uses hosepipes as part of the process;
  • Using a water-fed pole to clean the windows of domestic premises in the course of a business;
  • Cleaning the walls of domestic premises in the course of a business where the purpose of cleaning is the removal of graffiti;
  • Cleaning paths, patios and hard-standings by a business whose sole operation is the cleaning of paths, patios and other hard-standings.

Further exceptions are specified in The Water Use (Temporary Bans) Order 2010 (SI 2010 No. 2231) and that Order also defines certain terms. The Order may be found at, and the Company will consider instances of significant hardship for concessionary exception, which may be subject to conditions – please call us on 0845 278 0845 if you think this applies to you.

We will consider applications for concessionary exceptions from customers who are significantly adversely impacted by the restrictions because of infirmity or disability and for customers who use a drip or trickle irrigation watering system, 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. Please call us on 0845 278 0845 for further advice if you feel either of these apply to you.

Contact details here: Southern Water Contacts

42 Comments on Southern Water Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012

  1. hello

    My mother doesn’t let me shower in the bath as i’m so hairy it clogs up the plug, im normally made to shower in the garden with a hose. I asked her if the hosepipe ban would affect me but she said no as it was an animal welfare issue.

    is this correct?


  2. Hi

    I have a pond with koi and other ornamental fish in it, and the multi chamber filter needs to be cleaned regularly, which involves hosing off the filter media and filter sponges.

    Otherwise pond water becomes toxic to the fish.

    I live in Southern Water’s catchment.

    The pond water does also evapourate and needs topping up, by hose.

    Is this okay as wildlife is involved?

    Please advise

    Thank you


  3. Hose, Could you please restate the position regarding filling a water butt with a hosepipe please. I have read the ans to Q29 on the link suggested by Mary and it does indeed say the opposite to your advice?! I really had hoped you were right.

    • Hi Martina

      Quite correct, it’s no longer allowed to fill any container using a hosepipe. Earlier advice given based on earlier rules. I’m afraid there have been numerous changes and apologise for any confusion.

  4. Does this ban apply to customers in Hampshire?

  5. So, to clarify (maybe?)

    1: I have 200 litres of rainwater in a back garden waterbutt.
    Can I connect my pressure washer, (which will self prime and work ok from this source), via a hose to the front of the house to wash my muddy trail bike down?

    2: Once used up, I can’t refill the water butt with fresh water with a bucket or a hose, but I can fill it with used bathwater or rainwater?

    • Hi John

      Exactly right. Key point is the water butt can’t be refilled in any way from the mains supply.

  6. My company office is based in the southern water area. As this is a non-domestic property are we allowed to continue watering our small garden with a hose pipe?

  7. can you clarify please;

    i currently have a built pond ready to fill and stock, but as it currently empty does this mean i am not allowed to fill it as there are currently no fish in it.


  8. I am registered blind & I have paralysis – I live in Winchester. I have spoken to Southern Water Via the telephone on the 0845 number given but I have not had a satisfactory reply to my enquiries: will I be able to use my hosepipe before & after the 5th April?

    • You’ll simply have to keep pressing them for an answer I’m afraid. Their notice (above) says they will consider cases such as yours.

  9. hi,
    i have heard that you are exempt if you have a disabled badge or over 65, is this correct?

    • No exemptions for over 65s

      Exemption to water garden using a hosepipe for blue badge holders.

      None blue badge holders with disabilities can contact them directly an ask for an exemption for watering gardens.

  10. Very confused as to area covered for hose pipe ban, we live in Warsash post code SO31, what is the situation please

    • We are not in a position to say whether a certain post code is included in a hosepipe ban. Please use the contact details given for your local water company.

  11. Can I just ask, I live in Hampshire and I have just spent £250 on new turf I intend to lay this weekend, which obviously needs watering via a sprinkler.

    I see in a comment above that the ban doesn’t apply to Hampshire at the moment, so I assume I am okay to carry on with my turfing??

    • No, Hampshire isn’t included in the ban, but best to contact your local water company to verify.

  12. Hi does this ban apply to Southampton??

  13. Hot tubs. Can I refill my hot tub? The water has to be changed (refilled completely)only four times a year – is this still allowed?

  14. We are a business who fully refurbish woodworking machinery, and use a diesel heated karcher pressure washer off a hose pipe to clean all of our woodworking machinery prior to service/repair. Can we still use this during the hose pip ban. This is really important to our business. Please kindly advise as soon as possible.

  15. gordon hayes // April 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm //

    I live in the post code area of so53 4sg. Can you please tell
    me if the hosepipe ban refers to this area?

  16. My Nans neighbors has erected a large pool in their garden and I am led to believe that the fire brigade are coming to fill it and they are not being charged for this which surely isn’t right! Especially as we have all had water meters too in this area!

  17. Hi,

    Query for you. After using a Personal Watercraft, a serious element of the maintenance schedule for these machines is to flush them out with fresh water using a hose pipe attachment in order to remove salt water from the sea.

    Using a bucket or watering can is simply not an option, so can you advise what a hose pipe ban would imply in this instance, due to the fact you are not washing the vehicle externally, but the inside of an engine worth thousands of pounds?

    Many thanks

    • We’ve seen nowhere that states you can’t do this. May be worth checking with your local water company though.

  18. Is it ok to fill a paddling pool using buckets etc?

  19. I own i taxi in Maidenhead, can i use a hosepipe to wash my vehicle

  20. hi
    i have a allotmoent and need to water the plants via hose, is this now banned

  21. Questions are now closed for this section as the same questions have been answered many times. Please look through the previous questions and read the rules written at the top of the page.

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