Hosepipe ban 2018: How does a hosepipe ban work? Is it still on and what are the rules?
2 July 2018, 15:40 | Updated: 2 July 2018, 16:30
With a UK heatwave tipping the 30 degree mark, is there a hosepipe ban? Find out what you can and can't do - and what the consequences are if you break the rules.
With the longest British heatwave since the 70's it's looking likely that the hosepipe ban will come into force in the not too distant future.
But what does this mean for households? Here is everything you need to know about a hosepipe ban, including why it's enforced, what you can and can't do, and what happens if you're found to be breaking the rules.
What is a hosepipe ban?
A hosepipe ban makes it illegal to use a hose in any way - from watering gardens and washing cars to filling paddling pools. Depending on the level of the ban, any use of a hosepipe could be penalised.
Water companies are given the power to impose restrictions in times of "serious shortage", under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.
It is down to them how they enforce the ban; it could be just at certain times of day or restricted to particular activities - and it is in place for as long as they think is necessary.
What happens if I break the hosepipe ban?
Anyone found guilty of using a hosepipe during the ban can be prosecuted in a criminal court, and fined up to £1000.
Why is a hosepipe ban enforced?
The ban usually comes into play when it's hot outside, as the demand for water is a lot higher.
The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day, and this is often expected to increase by a whopping 50 percent during a heatwave.
Water suppliers then face fresh concern that water reserves could dry up, meaning they'll then struggle to ensure each household is getting such an increased supply.
So, a key way to reduce water consumption is to enforce a hosepipe ban.
How do I water my garden?
You can still use a watering can to water plants. Water companies advise re-using water you may have used to clean vegetables to keep your plants hydrated.
How can I reduce my water usage?
if you find yourself running the cold tap for ages to get some cooler water to drink, it might be worth your while bottling a load and leaving it in the fridge to chill.
Turning the taps off when you clean your teeth, and reducing your shower-time to the recommended four minutes will also help.
Keeping paddling pools covered at night will prevent water from evaporating or getting mucky.
Water companies are also advising to reuse water that you wash your vegetables in to water your plants.
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