Will You Stick To The Hosepipe Ban?

Will You Stick To The Hosepipe Ban

Another poll. Our question is:

Will you stick to the rules of the hosepipe ban?

Is a hosepipe ban simply a result of not enough rain and therefore something you’re prepared to go along with in the interest of preserving what water we have? Or do you believe water companies and the government could do more and you resent the idea of paying water rates for something you can no longer receive?

Please note that your input is 100% anonymous.

Will you stick to the rules of the hosepipe ban?

  • Yes (59%, 3,600 Votes)
  • No (41%, 2,540 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,140

Loading ... Loading ...

You may also wish to leave a comment below. Again, this is 100% anonymous and we never share your details with anyone. If you’re still concerned, use a false email address.

44 Comments on Will You Stick To The Hosepipe Ban?

  1. 1) With all respect: announcing the state of drought in a country surrounded by water – only in UK :).

    2) I recently went for a walk through Greenwich(Blackheath, Kidbrooke, Charlton). The funny thing is that on my, approximately 10km way I have noticed more than two dozens of this small, leaking water boxes inside the pavement. And these were only three boroughs of SE London. Also, please bear in mind that the pressure of the water needs to be substantial as it’s actually leaking upwards.

    It will be great summer for car wash garages though :).

    • Yh the UK is surrounded by water but it’s all salt water you idiot, unless you want to pay 10% more tax on your income to desalinise it then go ahead, make sure you read up before you comment.

  2. Many of you seem to think that a sprinkler system is ok – it is NOT! Only drip systems are acceptable.

  3. Lacj of rainfall is not the big issue. What is the issue is the hundreds and thousands of new homes being built in ever increasing developments on any available green sites. So you build all these new homes and they all need a water supply yet no provisions are made for this. When was a new reservoir ever built in this country? Before banning hosepipes they should tackle the source of the problem. Regards washing cars, I’ve measured how much water I use using a watering can and bucket compared to my jet wash. The jet wash uses absolutely nothing compared to buckets. The road was running with water using buckets. Jet wash , the road was hardly wet. You should be able to wash cars as long as its done with a jet wash. Simple.

  4. I don’t think that denying my son use of his paddling pool all summer is reasonable. It is very small (less water than a bath) so I will continue to use it.

    • Dawn. You are not denying your son the use of his ‘very small paddling pool’. Fill it up with a bucket from the tap. You ain’t banned from using buckets of water nor a paddling pool.

    • hello, I think it is a silly rule to ban hosepipes but still allow filling paddling pools/wash cars etc using hand held water containers ie buckets; when this will use far more water, or the same, than using a hosepipe to wash the car/fill a paddle pool will. The paddling pool is the same size and will hold the same volume of water however you choose to fill it!

      It is surely common sense, like perhaps taking a shower instead of a bath, using less water??
      And I think the water companies are not repairing holes or being proactive regarding reservoir building to cope with expanding population. And we are paying for it.

  5. What is the point of hosepipe ban if it can’t be enforced. Is Veolia going to have a fleet of helicopters searching out offenders? I think not. Sadly it isn’t enough to depend on people behaving responsibly in our ‘me me’ society

  6. “Oh, and Tom – with regard to your rant above, yes it IS the water companies’ responsibility to take on this task. You have customers who pay money and deserve service. If they can’t do it, then they give the system back to the country and let us get on with it.”

    it’s not. As someone fresh out of the schooling system I can tell you that NO effort is made at any point to teach generations how to conserve water. We’re taught where it comes from. We’re not taught how to conserve it. Don’t leave taps running, have showers rather than baths where possible, wash your cars using a bucket and sponge, and clean your patio and driveway using a broom rather than wasting half of the average usage on it with a hosepipe.

    Privatized companies do the best with water. Remember not long ago what happened in Ireland? Maybe this will jog your memory:


    “About 40,000 people across Northern Ireland are struggling to cope without water supplies. Northern Ireland Water has warned that the disruption could continue for several more days. Ministers and officials are meeting to take stock of widespread disruption caused by burst pipes.”

    Lastly, I can’t speak for ALL the water companies, but I can tell you that the company I work for repairs leaks as soon as they can whilst abiding by the laws and wishes of the councils and local residents. It’s not easy to find the source of water, it’s not easy to dig down and get it repaired quickly and easily whilst you’re trying to keep to budget and adhere to the councils timescales of road closures etc. At the end of the day we’re operating a service to supply water, and we do. If you didn’t pay your water charges and there was no company, there wouldn’t be anyone to repair the leaks and bursts in the first place. A single day without a water company would leave thousands in chaos.

    You can complain all you like about how people didn’t plan or prepare for the situation, but they did. It’s been severly dry. You can complain how you pay for your water to use how you like- you don’t. Water companies supply it cooking, cleaning and cunsumption within the property, not to sprinkle all over your gardens through huge pumped systems.

    I’m actually glad I’ve been speaking to people who are mostly sensible and who actually care about conservation rather than going on non-sensical rants about how companies are taking money but doing sod all. If you’ve got the evidence behind you, then I’d love to see it. The problem is that nowadays everyone thinsk something is owed to them. There are no comparisons between water or gas. Gas is a huge monopoly owned by companies with larger quantities of money.

  7. I would rather not use a hose and not have to fill up water from a stand pipe! prevention being better than the cure !

  8. I currently pay in excess of £800 per annum for my private water supply.

    My water supply company’s inability to supply their area with sufficient water this summer due to their lack of investment since the drought of the mid seventies and also their failure to repair existing leaks is not my problem and I will not be penalised for it. It is customary for any other company operating in any other field to make financial concessions when they are unable to meet their customers’ requirements and until such time as my water company offer me a reduction in my water rates I shall continue to use my hosepipe.

  9. Are you on a meter? £800 is excessive. Unless you have a very large family or live in a very expensive area I find the fact that you’re paying £800 very odd. Besides that…

    You don’t pay extra money to use a hosepipe. In fact, your bills do not cover such use. I suggest you find alternative methods to water your plants or wash your patio/car where previously you would have used a hosepipe. There is a ban, and if you are caught, you will get fined. It’s not about the bills, it’s about being a decent human being and thinking of your fellow members of community who will be without water if you continue to lazily use your hosepipe and waste resources in one of the hottest unpredictable summers for 101 years.

    Alternatively, I suggest you ring your water company, forward them your intricate and well written plan to fix each and every water leak within 24 hours as well as somehow gain technology to accurately predict the unpredictable and put yourself forward for a prestigious scientific award.

    • The thing to remember in all this discussion is that the objective is to avoid wasting water, and/but the use of a hose pipe does not necessarily waste more water than use of a bucket or watering can. Often, it’s the opposite. That’s part of what grates for a lot of us.

      I propose: (1) The water companies should be forced by law to use some of their capital to fix the known leaks in their pipes. (2) Everyone should be obliged to have a meter, and water rates should increase exponentially: If you use an amount considered normal for the average family (and that amount should be set as low as reasonably possible, not including watering gardens and washing cars and filling pools), you should pay one rate. As users (whether homes or businesses) increase the amount used over that base amount they should pay higher and higher rates, in stages, for the water they consume.

      This combined approach would go much farther toward reducing water use than requiring middle-aged gardeners to lug water to their parsnips, mums to tell their toddlers they can’t play in the paddling pool, and arthritic old ladies to watch their flowers die. Even though those of us with big gardens would suffer financially, this approach is reasonbly democratic, non-prescriptive, and far more effective than the current one.

      Not to speak of legally applicable. I really don’t see how water companies can be legally permitted to control the _way_ we use a commodity we’ve paid for.

      Amount, yes (if we don’t pay our bills, we’re legally liable). Manner, no.

      • Joanna,

        Water companies do fix the known leaks in their pipes, I guarantee it – the problem is that new leaks occur all the time (it’s called the ‘natural rate of rise’ or NRR). The challenge is to keep control of the NRR and maintain an equilibrium. Eliminating leakage is neither realistic or permitted by Ofwat – Ofwat demands companies maintain an ‘economic level of leakage’ (ELL), which is what the water companies aim to achieve. Any repairs which cost more than the value of the water lost are forbidden. You can read all about it here (but I warn you it’s a dull read): http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/publications/commissioned/rpt_com_tripartitestudybstpractprinc.pdf

        As for water meters, I agree 100%. One of the difficulties in managing leakage is trying to understand where the water is actually going, and until all properties are metered we’re just guessing. I strongly suspect that at least two water companies are overestimating their leakage in their reports to Ofwat (I know because I’ve worked for them). Also, people on water meters don’t usually waste water, so there would probably be no need for restrictions anyway.

      • Joanna is so right – after a basic minimum low cost supply have increasing scale of charges. Amazingly people would find ways to reduce their water usage, and can choose whether to run a washing machine 5 times a week and dishwasher twice a day or water their garden.

  10. A few years ago householders paid extra for the use of a hose but for some reason the water companies stopped householders from needing to pay extra for the use of a hose. When I enquired if it was still ok to use a hose and I was told I could use as much water as I required without penalty. The water companies have had plenty of time to sort out the water supply problems but have failed in a bad way. Expect huge increases in metered water charges in the future due to the much lower profits caused by this ban and many people who have switched to metered supply will be unable to switch back to unmetered supply. The water companies are looking for big profits for their shareholders and lower use is not in their interests unless lower use can still give big profits. So beware if you are thinking of switching to a meter as it will prove very costly in the future.

  11. A lot of interesting comments and assumptions. I think water companies could do a lot more to stop leaks by using mains metering as well as all houses to have meters.
    A 3 bedroom house in an inner city or one in a more rural setting with a proper garden cannot be treated the same for the amount of water required for normal living. For those with a garden it is normal to water plants and turf.
    In the late 1800s a large bore pipe was laid from Perth to Kalgoorlie (WA) a distance of about 370 miles. Interestingly this option is never mentioned in the UK. There is plenty of water but not in the places it is most needed.
    The earth is a self contained environment and the water volume is virtually unchanged for 6 billion years so just move the water.
    The cost to industry and population over the next century of localised water shortages will more than pay for it.

    • Bryce

      Exactly the point I have been trying to make and which the water companies’ employees on this site have studiously ignored. Bravo to them for speaking on behalf of their employers, but the plain fact is that they have been milking the public for years. This might be OK when they are doing their job, i.e. supplying water, but completely wrong when they’re not, like now. We should have had an emergency “top up only” grid years ago, before the industry was privatised. The water companies were happy to buy a profitable business so long as it held together. Now that it isn’t, they must realise that it’s time to take the rough with the smooth. We need a grid – now – and they must pay for it. If you were impressed by the 370 mile pipeline in Oz, take a look at what was done in Libya.

      • I’ll try to answer, but I’m not a water company employee, I work for a leak management consultancy. For the record, I have no love for the water companies whatsoever – my posts here are prompted by the desire to correct the huge misconceptions about water leakage. I find the level of ignorance of this subject astounding – when I heard Anglian Water’s director of water services say “We realise that any leakage is basically unacceptable” I put my head in my hands in disbelief. Leakage is a part of water distribution which cannot be eliminated. Trust me on this, it will not go away.

        With the questions above, I’ll have a go – .

        Mains metering. This is the only way we become aware of any leaks other than those which are on the surface and reported by the public. Radio transmitters are fitted to these meters, and the signals are monitored constantly by sophisticated computer software, and at least daily by people like me. Any sudden increase triggers alarms, and the ‘natural rate of rise’ of all areas is monitored until the leakage level reaches the point where it is more economical to repair it than to leave it (Ofwat forbid any intervention before this level is reached).

        As for moving water around, Severn Trent are currently gearing up to supply Anglian Water: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17664051 Welsh water I believe are more reluctant to do so.

        • Joe, I don’t think that anybody is expecting a “leak free” environment. Any system with lots of joints is going to suffer (look at car air-con systems, for instance). However, I think it’s fair to expect leakage to be restricted as far as reasonably possible, e.g. as a percentage of water supplied.

          My point here is that we should have a stand-by grid system to cover those areas which are occasionally drought prone, such as the south east. I read about the Severn Trent/Anglian plan in the Telegraph. I shows what can be done, but we shouldn’t require a crisis to prompt it. Water is a national asset, not a local one. As the population grows, with accompanying development, we will need the resource.

          Metering, encouraging saving water, etc., will only go so far in restricting demand. In the final analysis, you can’t meter what isn’t there.

  12. I think leakage is managed ‘as far as reasonably possible’ considering the restrictions Ofwat impose. I could halve leakage overnight, easily and cheaply – simply halve the water pressure in the pipes. It’s not allowed though – not only does every house have to have clean water, it needs to have clean water with a pressure of 7 metres static head at the delivery point (that’s the water pressure at the bottom of a pool 7 metres deep). I don’t know offhand what the water pressure needs to be at the pumping station in order to deliver this pressure (I can check if you wish), but it’s considerable: http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/news/9037626.100ft_of_water_gushing_out_of_burst_Burnley_main/ Water under that much pressure is going to leak.

    The other obstacle in the way of effective leakage reduction thanks to Ofwat is financial – water companies are liable to fines if leakage is above their ‘economic level’ – and also if leakage is too far below this level (because they would have carried out repairs when the cheaper option would have been to let the leak continue).

    A stand-by grid system of some kind may emerge as a result of this drought, but your guess is probably as good as mine on this subject. I just do leakage.

    I also agree with your last comment – you can’t meter what isn’t there. As I see things, throughout mankind’s history we’ve built settlements where there is plenty of water. These days we appear to be building them where there’s plenty of money instead – we’ll worry about water later. Am I the only one who thinks that’s daft?

  13. The uk is an island so we are surrounded by water, how can we be running out I it? Also if people want to pay extra money for a hose pipe then let them, you can not deny people the option to fill up their paddling pool or wash their car. I use the hose pipe I wash the car as it is easy, why should I not be aloud to that?

    Also how are they going to catch people using hosepipes; if you get caught then you know not to trust your neighbours. The hosepipe ban is pethetic and ever since the ban has been made, we have had alot of rain!!!!!!

    • As someone else pointed out, yes, we are surrounded by water but to turn this water into ‘salt free’ is extremely expensive and the water companies would really have to increase their fees. If you want to chance your arm and continue using a hosepipe, it might not just be a non friendly neighbour that shops you but anyone driving past.
      Washing the car – two buckets to wash it and maybe two or three to rinse it. Lot less than if you continued with your hosepipe.

  14. I personally think that a limit (by means of horrendous charging once that limit has been exceeded) would make much more sense for those of us that are on water meters anyway.

    I mean, if myself and my wife choose to have a quick shower rather than a bath, and generally don’t use that much water as there’s only the 2 of us, and we’re out all day every day at work anyway – I don’t see how using my “allowance” if I want to clean the car at the weekend using the pressure washer is using any more water than an average family of 4.

  15. I think that the water companies should put big buckets under any leakages. At the end of every month, they refil the reseviours or whatever and we can use our hoses!!! 😉
    Win Win

  16. So, the water companies are withdrawing a service that we are paying for.

    Let’s see if the same water companies withdraw dividends from their shareholders in order that they can divert funds to saving water through additional repairs of leaks.

  17. And buy pump and water butt and wash your car and/or water your garden to your heart’s content. That’s ‘your’ water not your water company’s.

  18. In an earlier hosepipe ban period I proved that it took 16 buckets to rinse a medium-sized family saloon and a compact hatch-back with one to wash them initially = 34 gallons. Using a hose with the same bucket for washing, a pre-rinse and a post-wash rinse playing for a maximum of eight minutes’ hose use – estimated hose output < 1 gallon per minute so max. usage 10 gallons. Result: lower water usage and reduced manual effort.

    Why ban hand-held hoses?

  19. I have just washed my car using a watering can rather than a pressure washer. I ended up using approx 65L of water, I am convinced I would of used ALOT less than that using said pressure washer. I know this wouldnt be the case for everyone but I feel the hose pipe ban is a joke going on the amount of rain we’re having

  20. I WILL fill my Bestway 15ft above ground pool…!!! I have decided to spend £30 to plumb a 15mm flo-plast PEX ridged plastic pipe the length of my garden (100ft) then attach a tap that pours directly in the top of the pool…..NO Hosepipe at all…!!!!

    definition : hosepipe – a flexible pipe for conveying a liquid or gas

    what do you all think of that idea…?

    feedback much appreciated.

  21. When will you all realise that this Country is all and only about money. Hosepipe ban is only a hidden way to raise water prices and force us spend money in having our cars washed rather than cleaning it ourselves. Petrol rush last month, I saw a petrol station raise the unleaded price from 139.90 to 142.90 overnight … oh and I heard on the news this morning that some roads are closed in Surrey because of .. FLOODING !!!!
    ah ah ah

  22. I read some getaround tips on another website. Although these were intended to be a joke, I think they are entirely reasonable. 1. You can wash the dog with a hosepipe, but not water your garden. Solution, turn the hose on the dog, and watch him run around the garden trying to avoid it. Simply follow him with the hose jet, and hey presto, your garden gets watered. 2. You can’t fill a pool with a hose, but you can fill a fish pond. Solution, buy a couple of goldfish and put them in your pool. Use can now use the hosepipe to fill it. 3. Only commercial car washes can use hoses to wash cars. Solution, pay your neighbour £1 to wash his car, and charge him a £1 for washing his. This is now a commercial venture, and exempt from the ban.

  23. Wow, you so i should be a good person saving water because others are not so lucky,,, you say this as you sit on your pc using electric, in your house with your job !! you all make me laugh, all you have to do is go have a look at the reservoir, the one near me is flowing wll, so i use my own head not some money grabing pig and use what i think i need. Also 200 million tons of water a day your beloved water companies lose, money down the drain.

  24. Hi Guys,

    Any one has got some idea if JET Washer is allowed to wash the cars at home ?

    As they use upto 60% less water than hose pipe….


  25. Laying turf tomorrow, will use hose all day don’t give a toss, take me to court if you want. Tip of the day use hose at night to water plants when
    no-one is looking

  26. It is really stipid and i hate it

  27. I use my washing up water to water the plant pots therefore I think I should be able to use some water for the kids paddling pool.

  28. Having a hosepipe ban is bloody ridiculous how is filling a swimming pool with buckets going to use any less water than if you fill it with a hose, if anything it will use more time you’ve finished slopping water everywhere trying to carry it to the swimming pool

  29. Was just told I can get arrested because I filled in a small splashing pool for the kid to play in it. But at the same time was told I could have used a bucket to fill it in. But wait, the amount of water used is the same regardless what! Some kind of hose pipe ban?! the hose pipe ban is a joke considering the amount of rain the U.K has. I mean out of the 365 days it rains most of the time. Also If I pay Water bills I will give it whichever use I feel like it. What about a bit of common sense? Its not as if I’m going to waste water like a mad person am I?

    They should like make a rule when there isn’t enough rain for example I don’t know if you use a reasonable amount of water you will have to pay I don’t know some kind of penalty or something. But the hose pipe ban is definitely a joke. I’m all about helping the planet hearth but I really don’t see how is that going to help at all. Are they going to investigate every single property and check if people are using a hose pipe 24/7???

  30. Guys what are you getting all worked up about, the banks don’t work, MP’s are corrupt therefore parliament must be corrupt, the water companies are screwing the great British public so is the EU, people are dying in our hospitals through the lack of care.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE, we are a third world country get used to it.

  31. Bill, they are watching you!! ha ha ha.I hate sit at home sad acts like you,parliament is not corrupt, i wish it was for a week so sad little people like you know what a corrupt one is like ! also, people die in hospitals because they go there when they are sick, if people stated to die in shopping centres then i will worrie.
    And as a last note, go to a third world country for a while then come back and say that ok ?, i cant wait to see the appeal for england ” please send £2 a month, so little bill can go on his pc and moan about the hosepipe ban while drining clean water, in his warm house and going to work, please help little bill buy a sandwhich for £2″.

  32. Dean, I must say your comment is very innocent and ill-informed. It is notoriously naive and not welcome. Please take it down!

1 2

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.