The Great Hosepipe Ban Swindle

So the 2012 hosepipe ban is finally upon us, implemented by seven water companies starting on the 5th of April. After weeks of tweaking their rules to create as little bad publicity as possible, the water companies lay their judgement upon us. All under the threat of “£1000 Fine” for those who don’t obey.

How many people have ever been fined for breaking a hosepipe ban? Difficult to find any in the last 30 years. So how many people will face the £1000 this year? Seemingly that’s up to you and I.

You see the water companies themselves don’t want to do it. A spokeswoman for Thames Water stated recently that they would spend nothing on either catching or prosecuting ‘offenders’. “No, we’ve got better things to do with our money, like fixing leaks.” they said. You couldn’t make it up.

Veolia Water were equally quick to pass the buck, stating: “Usually we would be the people that would take them to court, but it is technically a law. Anyone could do it. If you were really annoyed because your neighbour repeatedly flouted the law and we didn’t do anything, you could take them to court.”

So let’s examine the facts:

1) Water companies lose 3.36 billion litres of water per day through leaks
2) Water companies continue to make huge profits
3) Lack of rainfall over the last two years has helped put us into drought conditions, but fact 1) obviously doesn’t help
4) Joe Public is forced to adhere to a hosepipe ban at considerable discomfort and inconvenience, with a £1000 fine hanging over his head
5) Joe Public is asked to ‘grass-up’ (and potentially prosecute) naughty neighbours, causing who knows what sort of conflict
6) Water companies watch Joe Public dutifully help them continue with their business

Will you prosecute a neighbour for flouting the hosepipe ban rules and effectively become an unpaid employee of your local water supplier?

This commentary was made by a guest writer.

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70 Responses to “The Great Hosepipe Ban Swindle”

  1. Dischuffed
    April 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Please set the record straight, is the £1000 fine for prosecution for a criminal offence or a civil offence?
    From what the water companies are saying they have no intertrest in following through with prosection. I’m sure the police have far better things to do with their time so chances are nobody will get done.

  2. Helen
    April 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    As I am affected by the hosepipe ban, does that mean I will be expecting a refund/rebate on my water rates bill, as I understand that I am now paying for something that I am now not allowed to use. If not, why? If yes, when and how much percentage rebate am I likely to receive, or do I deduct it from my bill?

    I do not waste my water usage and know we have to conserve as much as possible, but I do not expect to pay a full water rates bill because of the restrictions imposed?

    • Joanna
      April 9, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      Excellent words, Helen! We should all write to our water companies asking the questions you ask. And pointing out that a lot of the problem is caused by the leaks in their pipes.

      In fact, I’m going to do that, right now.

      Regarding M’s point: A water meter will make no difference. Lots of people have water meters. They’re still being told they can’t use their own hoses, not even to fill a watering can! If we follow their rules we’re breaking our backs carrying water — many of us to irrigate plants that eventually put food on our tables — so that the water companies can carry on making piles of money even though they waste lakes of water every day.

      On Radio 4 someone pointed out recently that when water was state-supplied people were willing to pitch in during shortage times, do their bit; and the question was asked: will people still be willing to do that when it means they’re serving a capitalist enterprise?

      • Steve Horsfall
        May 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

        Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but all this water supposedly lost via leaks must go straight back into the water-table, so it isn’t really lost at all, is it? And doesn’t the same apply to water from hosepipes, so why is a ban ever necessary? The thing about water is that, though we use it, we don’t use it up: nature recycles it.

        • Diana
          May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am #

          Steve, that is so logical I don’t know why more people aren’t shouting about it from the roof-tops. It hadn’t even occurred to me before

          • Hose
            May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am #

            In winter that’s true but during summer most of the water is either ‘drunk’ by vegetation or it evaporates. At least, that’s what the water companies say!

    • virgilio
      May 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Dont kid your self……Once they have enough people on meter in this country they will lobby the government to force the rest of us to have a meter fitted and then we all will pay for our water by the unit, then they’ll put their prices up and up and up as they did on the Isle Of White, once we are all paying for our water by the unit that means that very deca-litre in a reservoir as a stock value of which can be sold to you and I and with all those billions of deca-litres stock piled in reservoirs I think this might make those pesky water companies some of the richest companies in the world…… so drought or no drought they won’t want you using too much water until they can charge everyone accordingly …. And remember we used to own our water company until it was sold off to an MP or his friend… but thats in the rules too i guess

    • Mary
      June 8, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      You really would save a lot of money by having a meter fitted! The you would not pay for water you did not use!!

  3. Stuart K Hallam
    April 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Very good point Helen, but I doubt it, they would loose to much monry, yet still get good returns.

  4. M
    April 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    You could get a water meter fitted so that way you only pay for what you use. It wouldn’t matter about the ban then because the restriction wouldn’t cost you money as you won’t pay for what you aren’t able use. Just an idea.

    • Alex
      May 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      A meter is more expensive in some cases. Just like pay as you go or finance. We payed £500 more on a meter over a 6 month test run and two of the family
      Members were not even using the water in the house half the week

      • Mary
        June 8, 2012 at 10:41 am #

        I really find this hard to believe. I do think you ought to get your meter checked. For 2 of us, we only pay about £90 per half year and the water rates would be over £600 a Year. Before the ban, we power washed the patio and watered the veg etc with a hose pipe.

  5. Si
    April 9, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Good point Helen but the majority of people are on water meters now a days so only pay for what they use so it shouldn’t apply. Also again what M said people on water meters won’t be paying for anything they don’t use so a rebate wouldn’t apply to them. I wash my car wish a traditional bucket and sponge and elbow grease so does this mean I can’t fill up a bucket if warm water from my tap and clean my beloved car? I fail to believe in the year 2012 we can’t use sea water and convert it as they do in some ships. There should NEVER be a shortage of water as our world is surrounded by it!!!

    • Nicky
      April 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      The amount of energy required to clean sea water is enormous, which would make the cost prohibitive plus increase global warming and so reduce rainfall ….

  6. Ian T
    April 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Joanna, what M meant was that if you adhere to the ban AND use a meter then there is no need for a rebate. Those of us without meters however ARE paying full price for a service/product that we cannot fully use.

  7. Ian T
    April 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    So if all the leaks were fixed then Bewl Reservoir could be filled from empty to full in less than 10 days. Stunning facts.

  8. Nicky
    April 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    I am trying to find out the restriction on farmers who use trewated water for irrigation? Much or the water round here used for irrigation of out of season strawberries (A necessary crop???) in hundreds of acres of poly tunnels is from scarce public supplies of treated water while I am not allowed to hold a hosepipe. Any answers from farmers of water companies?

  9. Gerhard Pieterse
    April 10, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Save water and long term cost by replacing your natural turf with synthetic.

  10. dave
    April 10, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Just a quick one for you all, If you work on a farm or in a curtain profesion then can you still us a hose pipe or is that still illegal and if i fill 50 buckets by my inside take surely thats the same as using my hose.
    Its all being blown out of proportion and i for one think it is a crock of ****

  11. David Bailey
    April 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    The water companies need to get their act together! There are many parts of the world, where it hardly ever rains, yet there are no hosepipe bans there. A little bit of continuous dry weather and the water companies start panicking. Hardly a drought!
    They should concentrate more on fixing leaking pipes. After all they make enough profit!
    Having said all that I am conscious of water conservation in general, however there are those who really need to use their hose pipes. This ban is taking the easy way out bullying the public as a soft target.

    • gill
      April 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      You are absolutely right. We reported a major leak at the end of street to Thames water and it took them 9 days to come and fix it. Masses and masses of water was just gushing its way down the hill.

      It is time for all of us to put our money where our mouths are and join together and deduct as a fine, from our water bills when they do not fulfil there obligations. Every year they increase their charges without any regulation. Thames water inherited vast tracks of land with wonderful building on it when Thatcher privatised and these were sold of at Auction (even though it truly belonged to the British public) to line the top level managements pockets. Why was this money not invested to build new reservoirs etc to manage the water properly in a country where it rains massively and yet water is never stored in times of plenty.

  12. Rob H
    April 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I intend to fully ignore any hosepipe ban (which is actually unlawful), as I have done in the past. The chance of prosecution is minimal (unless you have a particularly ‘nazi’ neighbour). The water companies need to sort out their leaks before telling us what we should be doing

  13. dave
    April 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    i wrote a comment earlier speaking the truth on this damn situation and they refused to publish it for me so is it because i speak a whole lot of truth or is it that i just left my hose pipe running for the last 3 hours

    • Hose
      April 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Apologies if your comment wasn’t published straight away. I believe it’s now posted above.

  14. Bomber Brown
    April 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I read somewhere recently that there was only 1 person prosecuted and fined during the last hosepipe ban in 2006, and that was because he caused a disturbance of the peace when the police arrived and he was verbally abusive or disruptive.

    Ergo, I think it’s not a *criminal* offence to use a hosepipe during the ban.

    Happy to be proved wrong and not not advocating flouting the ban.

  15. Bomber Brown
    April 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    Actually, I’ll correct myself. It is a *criminal* offence under the Water Industry Act 1991.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_water-use_restriction

  16. shaun
    April 14, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Good point i pay for the water i use by meter, lets have a discount ta mr southern water. Just washed my car with a bucket and watering can and used far more water than using the hose pipe to do it!!!!!! Ps not had a letter or email from southern water telling me not to use my hose pipe and as they have my address and email they need to tell me. So just shows wot a crack off sxxt it all is, dum ass water company!!!!!

  17. Isaac
    April 16, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    What is the country coming to realy, i bet this law doesnt apply to the goverment they wont pay someone to hose their garden for longer than they have to, even though it comes from taxpayers money, and i have not had a letter from the water company so what can they do you for realy

  18. Phil
    April 16, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Last night Braintree Council were cleaning the pavements with power washers fed from a standpipe fixed to a hydrant outside the old fire station. There is no health and safety involved with the cleaning, it is merely aesthetic. Not only did they waste goodness knows how many gallons they also sprayed muck up the sides of all the shops and buildings were they went leaving a worse mess than before. How can they be allowed to carry out such an unnecessary and wasteful action while people have to make endless and time consuming trips with heavy watering cans to keep their vegetable gardens alive. One law for Councils and another for the mugs like us who pay their wages! p.s. It was also very noisy and kept my children awake until the small hours! Not only that but there was so much water going everywhere it was blasted through air bricks and cellar vents causing problems indoors.

  19. Bobbygiro
    April 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    I lived in south Georgia for five years with weather at on average 100degrees farenhite. I move back to England to find that in the country known for it’s immense amount of rain we can’t use a hose pipe due to a drought! I look at the weather forecast rain this week, rain next week. And we all know it’s bound to rain the week after too! This is after all England! What on earth is up with this country. It couldn’t arrange a drinking session in a pub! What happens to all of this water I see falling with no heat from the sun to make it evaporate. Oh that’s right the water companies keep it charge us for it and tell us to save it so they can keep charging us for less use. Kind of like the gas companies! Use less save natural resources so we can put up the prices and charge you more for using less. Who’s protecting the consumer! No one. This country is a joke!

    • Steve
      April 25, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      “It couldn’t arrange a drinking session in a pub! ”

      I think you’ve found the problem. That’s one thing this country CAN actually do right!

  20. Bobby
    April 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    I wish I’d brought my Brolly!

  21. Roger The Dodger
    April 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I don’t see what the hosepipe ban achieves. If the reservoirs are running out couldn’t all the people living around them just use their garden hoses to fill them up?

  22. ticklafing
    April 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Roger,
    That would be the easy way , but as you know they cant do that or they all will get fined for using them , if they put all the money from advertising there ban on fixing leaks , we wouldn’t have any , and no ban !!! simples

    To many cream cakes and coffee in the board rooms , clouded there judgements .

  23. paul jh
    April 28, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Like the points on here but one of the biggest downfalls in this country is we build on NATURAL flood planes. Flood planes exist for a reason that is to allow water to filter into the ground into the water tables which in turn feed natural wells and streams.
    But we are so fixed on making sure water flows away from the land this water is channelled into the rivers which then flow out to sea (Oh rising sea levels mmm bit of a no brainer.)
    so why dont we create larger flood planes to hold this water instead of wasting a natural resource out to sea? maybe thats because the shareholders want to keep the profits in there pockets and not put it back into the infrastructure where it belongs.(Because there all greedy and make the man in the street suffer at there expense)
    The other option is desalanation plants stratigically placed in certain parts of the country it was estimated we would in actual fact need no more than four of these plants on the coast this might also reduce sea levels that we all so worry about.then no one would suffer oh but we cant build these plants because there too expensive well boo hoo take a pay cut like the rest of the world and WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES.

  24. EDD
    April 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    OH dear this all sounds very familiar so called oil shortage, gas shortage, and now, low and behold a water shortage even though its been raining every day for the last two weeks in the southeast.The usuall answer from the powers that be is to put the prices up ie:fuel gas electicity,so don’t be suprised when everyones water bills go up, its all to do with the wrong sort of rain fall, apparently we need winter rain and guess what we ain’t getting any winter rain till “erm” yes next winter so that leaves the water companies plenty of time to adjust our bills in an upward direction of course.so what i say to the water companies is fix the leaks stop the spin and get on with your job which is to pipe the wet stuff that falls from the sky on a daily basis i might add to your paying customers

  25. EDD
    April 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    water water everywhere and not a drop is allowed out of the end of a piece of rubber tubeing, what a blatent con, we have a spokesman from the envoirnment agency on the television telling us that we are in severe drought conditions (he didn’t even have the decency to blush) when a quick look out of the window would have confirmed what we all know that its been bucketing down for weeks with more to come,apparently the rain we are getting at the moment is being sucked up by the trees!!!! and will make no difference to the water table, try telling that to the hundreds of people filling their umteenth sand bag to place in front of their soon to be flooded homes.drought threats have been around for decades and the various water companies have done nothing to capture extra water in the rainy times on the contary thay have wasted the chance, cut their labour force, now we are in a situation where billions of litres are lost on a daily basis due to the greed of the water companies.their answer will be to put the price up for such a rare comodity. So slaps on the back and whacking great bonuses allround in the boardrooms .message to the waterboards AT LEAST WAIT TILL WEV’E HAD A FEW MONTHS OF NON STOP SUNSHINE BEFORE YOU CON US NEXT TIME

  26. Jim
    April 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    The colonic irigation clinics are suffering badly with the hosepipe ban.

    • Diana
      May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Yucky-poohs

  27. Mike
    May 1, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    It’s my understanding that Thames water sold off six reservoirs when they were de-nationlised, to make money for the company, shareholders etc. Would there be a ban if they still existed?

  28. Mike
    May 1, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Correction to my previous post, on doing an internet search it appears that Thames water has sold off/ shut down 25 reservoirs.

    • Joe
      May 3, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      These were almost certainly underground service reservoirs, which hold a very small amount of water. They fill from the mains overnight (when demand is low), and drain during the day. They serve as a ‘buffer’ to boost the supply of water for daytime demand, and hold no more than a few hours supply for a couple of thousand properties.

      They look like this:
      http://www.yourlocalweb.co.uk/images/pictures/21/65/service-reservoir-halifax-road-clifton-213656.jpg

      If changes to the network mean they are no longer used then it’s probably sensible to sell the off land.

  29. Stu
    May 4, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    The Water Companies protect their shareholders dividends and spend as little as possible on infrastructure. As someone in the Construction Industry I’ve witnessed water leaks being reported only to remain as leaks for over a month at a time!

    The problem here is infrastructure and legislation – not drought. The various companies work largely independently and share little – in 1976 it was obvious that the long term solution was to establish a network that would allow water to be transferred from those parts of the country that had an abundance to those areas that occasionally suffered. This infrastructure does not appear to have been installed. Legislation by the Government to then force the private companies to share this resource in times of drought would be needed to avoid greedy Shareholder’s being protected…again, it does not appear that this was ever done.

    The solution has always been there, private companies have put their own interests first supported by ineffective Government control and now we have the situation we are experiencing. It is the water companies who are the ‘criminals’!

    • Joe
      May 4, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      “The Water Companies protect their shareholders dividends”

      Indeed. But like it or not without good dividends there would be no shareholders, and without shareholders there would be no water companies. They could be nationalised again I suppose (assuming the government had the money), but it’s worth remembering that the only water company to run out of water due to leakage was state owned (Christmas 2011/11).

      ” and spend as little as possible on infrastructure.”

      This is also true, not least because the regulator (Ofwat) demands it. Every 5 years the water companies have to present their asset management plan (AMP) to Ofwat for approval. Ofwat will then reject these plans because they are too costly, and negotiations will begin until a compromise is agreed which will keep water flowing through the existing jury-rigged network.

      “I’ve witnessed water leaks being reported only to remain as leaks for over a month at a time!”

      So have I. Usually due to one or more of the following:

      1) The leak is a private one. Negotiating the legal minefield to get these leaks repaired takes time.
      2) Locating the leak. Water from a rupture can travel some distance underground before it escapes to the surface.
      3) Highways authority will not allow an immediate excavation.
      4) The leak has not actually been reported to the water company (typical time from burst to 1st report in non-residential areas is around a week)
      5) Cock-ups. (Well, I’m not perfect.)

      “The problem here is infrastructure and legislation – not drought.”

      Yes indeed. Ofwat was set up to be an ecomic regulator, and that is still the way it thinks. Water itself has almost no value, and water lost through leakage is worth only the cost of treating it and pumping it along the network. Unless the leak is causing a problem, then Ofwat only allow the water companies to undertake repairs if the cost of the lost water exceeds the cost of repair. Ofwat call this the economic level of leakage, and leakage targets are based upon this. This is actually the most sensible method of managing leakage – right up to the point when you realise you don’t have enough water. Both Ofwat and the water companies seem to have based their security of future supply strategy on wishful thinking.

      “it was obvious that the long term solution was to establish a network that would allow water to be transferred”

      This is illegal within the current regulatory framework (which seems absurd to me).

      “It is the water companies who are the ‘criminals’!”

      Looking at my payslip for all the work I’ve done this month, I’m inclined to agree with you.

  30. sharon
    May 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    The water companies want it all ways. The say that all the reservoirs are full after all this rain, maybe they should have built more to replace all they happily sold off for housing to be built on, more housing equals bigger population, no brain’er really.

    Thames water have been happy to charge me for surface water collection for over 20 years, when I have a soak away, did they repay me the 20 years of overcharging, NO! just quoted me ofwat bla! bla! Bla!

    Reading the blogs, some very good and made a lot of sense, lots of you could run the water companies with your arms tied behind your back, and still have plenty of dosh in your back pockets as share holders.

    |We don,t have a water shortage just mismanagement and greed. Liquid Bankers!

  31. Sheila Trouble
    May 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Sharon is right “we don’t have a water shortage”. Has anyone actually checked rainfall details for the last two “driest winters”? I live in East Kent and our meteorological statistics come from Manston. The long-term annual average rainfall for 1961-1990 at Manston is 570.3mm. 2010 rainfall was 568.2mm and 2011 was 455.4mm. Slightly less than the average, but we mustn’t forget that an average will have some years lower than 570.3 and some years higher, so our recent rainfall doesn’t look like a disaster.
    Wastage by the water companies through leaks and lack of maintenance is definitely the problem.
    I do not believe that such an essential service (if we don’t have water we die!) should have been sold to private companies. There is no justice in that. We are now paying for excessive salaries for staff, likewise plus massive bonuses for board directors and profit on returns for shareholders! Plus we have several companies within the same area – several buildings, furnishings, equipment, transport, provisions and other overheads. I thought “competition” was supposed to bring “lower prices”. In your dreams!
    As a matter of interest, when my husband died and I was living alone, I received a water bill that was double the amount from the previous year, when my husband and two teenage children (who since married) had lived in the house with me! I facetiously returned the bill asking if they’d made a mistake. Obiously that didn’t make any difference!

  32. EDD
    May 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    has anyone had a letter from their water company recently,i got one on thursday asking me to increase my direct debit to £60 per month, I had been paying £20 per month im on a metre so phoned them and asked the reason, their answer was that last year i used more water than the year before, i asked how much more water than the year before they said they could not answer that as my bill was estimated,so how do they know i used more water was my reply (no answer from the person on the other end of the phone) i politly told them there is no way im increasing my direct debit, their answer was to tell me to read the metre and let them know the reading (unbelievable) send your own people to read the metre was my terse reply and added that as i would not be using my hose pipe this year my direct debit should be comming down then slammed the phone down before i lost it and told them what f****** rip off merchants they are

  33. Denis
    May 13, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Hi the school I work at owns a playing field in this field was a spring or so everyone said I and my fellow worker decided to investigate, we found a lid in the middle of this so called spring we opened it to find water gushing out we then realised it was a water main leaking,
    Ha! Ha! we dragged a sludge pump out and tried to pump out the pit a six inch water main stop tap was leaking so bad we had trouble keeping up with the flow of water, this water main had been leaking for at least six years it took another six weeks for them to repair the leak they must have lost enough to fill a large reservoir no one bothered over the years. I’m of the opinion the water companies should be prosecuted for there leaks.

  34. Chris
    May 20, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Yes this is a huge swindle and There is good news and bad news. The bad news is it is a con. We have a well in our garden and in 12 years of living here it has never been so full. All thus talk of underground levels being low is just a lot if nonsense The companies got it wrong to call for a drought and now they are too proud and pompous to admit they were wrong. The good news is that I don’t have to clean 3 cars and can just enjoy driving them without worrying what people think.

    • Joe
      May 20, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      You have a well, which is a hole in the ground with water in it, whereas an aquifer is a type of rock formation.

      It takes a long time for the porous rocks in underground aquifers to become saturated, and in the spring and summer even recent levels of rain don’t penetrate more than a couple of metres down. Therefore water companies who rely on underground water are still in trouble.

      It’s nothing new though. I remember discussing this with a water industry colleague around ten years ago – the Southeast has too many people for the available water. They need to find more water or restrict consumption – in my opinion compulsory metering is the best option, simply because people on meters don’t waste water.

      • john
        May 31, 2012 at 7:15 am #

        have you got shares in the water company you talk a load of rubbish once on meters the companys will put the prices up what ever warer you use they need there big houses and cars

        • Joe
          June 8, 2012 at 8:31 am #

          Why, thank you for your kind comments.

          I don’t have shares in a water company, though if I were to buy shares I would consider water companies as a safe investment. As to the prices increasing for metered customers, I believe the reverse is true. Pricing is tightly controlled by Ofwat, so I don’t foresee any great change to this – but then you are clearly the expert here.

          Incidentally, have you ever considered buying a dictionary?

  35. Spoonyboy
    May 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Having read the comments I have to agree. It’s all about profit, not water shortages.

    I have a water meter and pay about half of what I would pay if not on a meter (given the council tax band). I feel my payment is fair and enough to cover the water, drains etc. that I use, this includes use of a hosepipe.

    I think the problem with these big profit companies (along with gas, electricity etc.) are they set a bad example. I’m hearing more of the ‘take everything, give nothing’ mentality that is shown by these big companies all the time.

    If that’s the example being set by essential services then why not ignore the hosepipe ban and take as much water as you want?

    When it was government run it seemed they were not making a big profit and therefore people were more likely to comply when a hosepipe ban was on.

  36. ScattyMe
    May 26, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    So do I understand I cannot ifll my watering can with my hose that has a stop tap on the end. I am disabled. so my plants are going to ide. and I just spent a lot of money on them ebcause I thought I could at least to up the watering can in situ rahter than drag it from either of my water butts. which I will use for the plants in those areas. I have no water butt in front of house as nowhere to run the water from or to a butt. It would interfere with the entrance to side gate and think my neighbour would object if I cut the downpipe to put a butt catcher in it. He is not speaking to us already due to us needing repairs on a conservatory that they got upset about.( they don’t have a conservatory!
    He already blamed us for the gutter overflowing when it was the drain that was the problem and if he had not put a fence int he way he could have cleared it himself. I am unable to do that any longer.
    Will have ot ask Grandson round to water for me. but he works long hot hours. seems unfair. where I could at least top up my watering can and tip it on plants whilst I sit in my chair.

  37. ScattyMe
    May 26, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    forgot to say I also have broken ribs. so cannot carry the can full either it has to be little bits at a time.

  38. Paul
    May 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Just use the shower to fill yr buckets…there’s plenty of water coming out of that. Water companies fix yr leaks. job done :)

  39. Paul
    May 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    oh yes and i was in Egypt a month ago where they have rain roughly once every ten years and they got so much water they spray the patios clean!! This is because they use desalination process turning salt water into pure (plenty of that stuff surrounding the UK eh?) Lots of people say its impractical as it uses too much energy (translates as MONEY) but there are proven and used techniques that require only the sun! just an initial outlay on the machines and a small maintenance cost. I cant help but think its about lazy money makers who aren’t willing to fix the problem permanently as there are to many in the chain who might get upset when the gravy stops!!

  40. Sue
    May 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    “They” the controllers or authorities of the our water have always blamed us for leaky pipes and wasting water. In adverts, ordinary people are shown as simple and the water boards as “saintly” “gods”!

    Okay, us simpletons are big enough to take some of the blame but I wish they would look at themselves and the huge profits they make and intend to make bigger and bigger profits.

    They could spend their vast sums on preserving water in underground reservoirs – but that would be too easy and they would get very upset because the fat cats want to stay obese!!!!!

    Industries, factories, global type farms take up enormous consumption of water and waste tons of water too. They pollute the water heavily and then we have to pay for “purification” of water.

    The “simple” ordinary people are being heavily penalized. The very wealthy people are not affected by any of this. They continue to bathe in their luxury lifestyle, eat gourmet foods that actually are not economical and create quadriple the amount of washing up due it’s fussy expectation of fine cuisine.

    Yes, people continue to waste huge amounts – these people are very wealthy and the big industries whatever the weather and whatever the ban
    .
    This seems like water apartheid. Water for some but not the rest. Maybe we are complete idiots to be so fooled!

    What a total rip off!

  41. malcolm munt
    May 28, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    dear sir
    i am a blue badge holder due to severe COPD am I exempt from the hose pipe ban for watering my garden
    Malcolm

    • Diana
      May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Malcolm – I have just been informed today by someone who runs a garden design and maintenance business that Blue Badge holders in the Thames Water Area are exempt from the hosepipe ban. Not wanting to risk breaching the regulations, I looked it up on this very website, to double-check, and discovered that blue badge holders are indeed exempt.

  42. Craig
    May 28, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Hi
    Can anyone please advise when the ban is going to be lifted? Surely with the rain we had through April we should be able to keep our plants properly watered, now that they really need it?

  43. Lee
    May 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Having read all of the above comments I’m surprised no one has yet included the massive increase in population in recent years as also being a major contributory factor.
    A previous commenter mentioned the average rainfall figures since 1960; it would be interesting to see a graph comparing those figures against the total population figures for the areas the ban is in place over the same period.

  44. Carlos
    May 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    This country had water supplied to households and it was all covered by the water rates.Suddenly we have a load of water companies in a “privatisation lunacy” that puts meters in the houses of private citizens and charges them high enough rates for doing so and although they are losing millions of gallons everyday , they still manage to make billions of pounds profit.This is what Thatcher and Blair promised the capitalists of this country in exchange for their funding their parties.With the added advantage of providing juicy “jobs for the boys” in the shape of fat wallet directorships.The big utilitiy companies do what they like because politicians are greedy and corrupt .The buck stops at Joe Bloggs wallet which is getting emptier by the day.The tail is definitely wagging the dog.Ask Murdoch et all.

  45. BRIAN
    May 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Way back in the mid 1970,s and 1980,s , i remember Stuart Hall doing a news report about how low the reserviors were and how we needed to conserve water, a hose ban was implemented, and we were all told to use less wherever we could , i also remember a report by a journalist who found out that NORTH WEST WATER (alone ! ) had sold the equivalent of 15 billion glasses of fresh water to SAUDI ARABIA and other Eastern countries, did anyone else remember this ?

  46. Diana
    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    As a Blue Disability Badge holder, I feel that the water authorities should have made it very clear that disabled people are exempt from the hosepipe ban.

    Having lived in hot countries where water is scarce, I am very conscious of saving water wherever possible, and using “grey” water to water the garden. I am a keen gardener (it’s just about the only exercise I can manage) and, not knowing of the exemption, I have been struggling to water my seedlings with a heavy watering can – lifting it nearly kills me sometimes, but that’s better than killing my plants. And I have been using water collected in a bowl in the kitchen sink, in my plastic wheelbarrow and boiled egg water, etc. in order to conserve water supplies.

    It was only today, over a month after the hosepipe ban, that I learned from someone that I could have been using my hosepipe all this time. This should have been announced on the News, along with the original announcement about the hosepipe ban.

  47. Chris
    June 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Can I sue my local water company? I’ve put out my back and had to have unpaid time off work from carrying buckets of water because of the hosepipe ban.

  48. Pink bunny
    June 7, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Water is an infinite resource so whatever we use eventually returns to the atmosphere/land. Therefore, we are drinking water that has been around for ever basically.
    It was always going to happen that as soon as a resource is privatised it then becomes a profit making game rather than a provider of jobs and service to the community. Why is everyone surprised water companies won’t fix leaks it costs too much -look at the burst water main in London last night millions of gallons lost -but don’t use a hosepipe what a joke!.

    • Joe
      June 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      “Why is everyone surprised water companies won’t fix leaks… ”

      Let me throw a few numbers at you, based on my own experience and a few fag packet calculations (conservative calculations at that).

      A large water company may repair something in the region of 1,000 leaks per week (this is about the number Thames were doing last winter). Let’s assume that all the water companies (of all sizes) in England & Wales together repair 10 times this amount.

      Let’s assume the cost of repairing a leak is £1,000 – though with costs of detection, traffic management, materials, etc I’m sure you’ll agree this is a very conservative figure (I dread to think what the actual cost is).

      That amounts to £10 million spent finding & fixing leaks every week. (Probably at least twice that.)

      The truth is that water companies fix a LOT of leaks (and as fast as leaks are repaired new ones appear. I’ll never be short of work).

  49. pier
    June 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Hang On here!!
    who said we are not allowed to use hosepipes? the newspapers? The TV? Facebook?
    Has ANYONE ever received a letter from their water supplier (the ones who can enforce this so-called ban)?
    Sorry, but until i get a letter from my water company telling me I cant use a hosepipe, then surely it cannot be legally enforced.
    If I hear thru friends, facebook and other ‘hearsay’ that the motorway speed limit has been increased to 120mph, do you think that will stand up in court? “Oh but it was in the papers your honour and on facebook, so it has to be true”
    nope….its all a big con….

  50. EDD
    July 15, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Oh dear water companys hose pipe ban lifted, i wonder where the next wheeze is going to come from, now let me think ???? ah yes i know lets charge the poor old water user for getting rid of all this eccess water,think im joking watch this space

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