Thames Water

For details of the hosepipe ban 2012 please go to this page: Thames Water Hosepipe Ban 2012


Thames Water Utilities Ltd
PO BOX 436
SN38 1TU



0845 9200 888

Parent Company:

Kemble Water Limited

About Thames Water:

Thames Water serves 13 million customers across London and the Southeast of England.

Watch this space! We will have more information about Thames Water over the coming months. If you have any comments about Thames Water, please use the comments box below.

182 replies on “Thames Water”

Surely this ban will be lifted very soon, not just in time for the Olympics, that would look very suspicious,would it not?

Not if you’re in an area that has a hosepipe ban in place. Thames Water have lifted their ban though.

Ive had a 70ft x6ft wall erected the length of my garden
The cement & sand has been mixed on my front drive
where there is also a skip full of bricks from the old wall
When completed can I jetwash down as looks like a builders yard

its been raining for 3 months what are they doing with all that water
in spain rains only 20% compared with britain they manage i think
our water being missmanaged.its a joke

The heavy precipitation, having reached ground level, is intercepted by vegetation, before undergoing surface runoff and entering waterways. Once there it flows due to gravity towards to sea. Hence most of the rainfall is lost within a few days, with only that which was trapped in a reservoir being preserved. What needs to happen is for it to infiltrate into the soil and percolate deeper into the groundwater supplies. Groundwater flow is incredibly slow, and can take years to reach the sea. However the equal opposite effect is that it takes a long time for the underground reservoirs (known as aquifers, regions of porous rock) to replenish. Because of an extended period of low rainfall we have abstracted much of those stores, and hence it will take a while for them to be restored. Now, since Thames Water uses the river Thames for much of its supply, they will soon be able to relinquish the restrictions. However water companies further south, which use the groundwater supplies, need to wait for the water table to rise to a sufficiently high level before they can initiate similar relaxation on restrictions.
For example, the Sahara desert is a desert because it has very little annual rainfall. However it does have underground aquifers, which have been there for thousands of years. Hence the phenomenon of oasis’s. If that water were abstracted then it would not replenish. The same is true in Israel. Now, with your example of Spain, they do have much less annual precipitation, but as they are aware of that they manage their water supplies to a better extend, which extends to not using water excessively. Here, as we have now been doing that too for a couple of months, we are approaching a stage where there is sufficient water to return to normal. Here in Britain we have ample surface water, as the past few weeks have shown us, but we need to wait a while longer before the gorundwater is topped up.
I hope that helps you.

Can a hosepipe be used to run an outboard motor to flush the cooling system (about 5 minutes continuous use), through the use of flushing muffs?

Thank you for the reply.
Of course I am not going to break the law, could you suggest who I could ask for absolute authority on the matter?
Whilst I trust you, it is important to be sure.

Following a discussion with our neighbour, can you please advise whether a hose can be used when used in conjuction with a water butt pump, so no water is taken from the mains?

i am a self employed builder can i use my hosepipe to wash my van, during the hosepipe ban.

Hi, we neighbour keeps using his hosepipe to water his new trees, whcih go the length pf his garden, is this allowed?

If he had them planted by professional gardeners he can do that for 28 days. If he planted them himself he’s not allowed to water with a hosepipe.

I have MS, and have difficutly walking. I have a Blue Badge on my car. I think i says in the rules that I am allowed to use a hosepipe to water my plant beds. Is this true?

I am a Facilities Manager – where I work (thames water area), we have a quarterly requirement to hose down a/c condensing units as the filters get clogged up regularly. We need to do this, otherwise the temperature in our comms rooms gets way too high.

Can we still do this under the hosepipe ban

I cannot find a place to report the use of a hosepipe to report a garden and have now reported as a leak, I report this because I have been using waste water to fill my water butts and being on a first floor maisonette and my garden being the furthest away it is becoming hard work.

Hi Hose,

Just a wee note to say keep up the good voluntary work although it must be frustrating at times answering the same questions over and over again.

I don’t have any questions as all my questions have been answered in previous posts but volunteers don’t get thanked enough (especially when dealing with such emotive issues) in my view so thank you for keeping this website going it’s very useful for up to date information.

I’ve just purchased a water butt to use my karcher with – B&Q have a good starter kit for £29.99 including stand 120l water butt and adaptor for the drain pipe you just might need to go to a few B&Q’s to find one that hasn’t been damaged.


Tricia (London)

I have a few plants on the roof of a communal housing association property. I water them using a hosepipe that hangs down the side of the building and into my bathroom.
I don’t understand what a ‘garden’ is and obviously I’m not going to be climbing up and down the stairs with buckets of water. There is no tap on the roof.
I’ve just watered my plants using a bucket and watering can, taking the water from the only available source, the hosepipe on the roof.
Ironically, watering this way seems to use more water than I usually do with the hose. It also takes a lot longer.
What do you say Hose?

So, you expect me to climb up and down the stairwell to fill the watering can from the tap that runs to the roof anyway? That’s just stupid. How else am I meant to water my plants? They will die. Can I get £500 compensation from Thames Water to cover the loss of the plants? Do you have any better suggestions?

I don’t work for Thames Water. This is a volunteer run website offering information about the hosepipe ban.

Drew, unfortunate though it may be, the system cannot make individual exemptions based on common sense, because then there would be so many potential loopholes anyone could use their hosepipe. It is outrageous that disabled people and businesses are already exempt, but that is the way the law works and there is no point arguing about it. If you review your contract with Thames water you will find agreement to cessation of usage at the command of the water company in the event of a water shortage. Ergo you have agreed to the necessity of having to carry a can up the stairs.
As for a better suggestion, I recommend the fitting of a roof tank with an regulated drip system to provide water for your plants.
I am not affiliate with Thames Water in any way, except as a consumer.

So, please tell me why can i not fill a watering can using the hose attached to the outside tap instead of waiting for it to fill from the tap? Is it a pressure thing? Seems that the same amount of water is coming out and the hoze will not be left unattended.btw – I have a water meter – therefore every drip save is a penny saved!

Thank you

i have just laid turfs in my garden (19th May – Swindon), am i allowed to water this? i see that commercial companies are allowed for 28 day, does this apply to me as well?

No, only turf laid by professionals. You can do it with a watering can but not hosepipe.

So Thames Water is proud to be the official water provider to the Olympic Games and is working with Locog… Hallelujah!

This means that we are all suffering water restrictions, despite relatively full reservoirs to ensure that the powers that be are not embarrassed by their failure to provide a proper water grid in this country for the “Olympic Family”.

Ask yourself, how many of the fat cat officials attending the games will be asked only to take four minute showers, and observe all the restrictions – they won#’t have too as they are using the water we have been restricted from using.

Interesting that in the recent heavy rain, where the Thames was running very high, they could not take any water out as they had nowhere to put it having been closing reservoirs.

About time TW starting thinking ahead and providing the proper infrastructure we need. Many parts of the Midlands have been supplied by the Welsh Reservoirs for years, so don’t tell me it is not technologically possible to run a water grid…. it is the need to rip cash out of the businesses that is preventing the necessary investment.

Hi, I am the secretary at our local village cricket club. At our recent committee meeting a member said they thought weekly watering of the square and outfield is now allowed in the Thames Water area. I can’t find anything official on this …. and with the recent hot spell our facilties are looking rather dry! What’s the current position please? Thanks

oi hose guy I cant see through my wind screen(the car) it`s so dirty can I wash it with my hose pipe?

Hi, I recently purchased a water butt to collect rainwater and it is now full . Can I attach a garden hose to the tap of the water butt and use it to water the garden? As the water butt is on a higher level than the garden, gravity will allow the water to drain out through the hose. I will not be using mains water, but a hose will be used.

Hi, can i use a small pump to extract water from a tub that i filled from the tap ,to water my allotment?…Thanks

Live in the Thames Water supply area – am i allowed to use the hose to bath my [rather smelly!] dog?

Can it really be the case that the gardeners at the Chelsea flower show are watering everything with cans??

Can we use a pressure washer to clean pigeon mess from our decking as there is a lot of it and not very hygenic for our grandchildren to play in the garden. I am happy to provide photos of the mess so you can see how much there is.

Can we fill our private childrens nursery paddling pool?
Can we fill our water play equpment?
Can we wash down areas that children have had an’ accident ‘on?i.e Wee?
Can we clean the carpet using a spray extraction machine if a child has a’ accident ‘on it?

KInd regards

Could you please clarify how many reservoirs Thames Water have closed in the last Ten years?

Thank you


I have split car oil on my front patio which has become slippery. Also my dog has been using my back patio to go to the toilet since last summer and I am not willing to let my son out there to play until this is properly cleaned. Am I able to clean both of these with a jet wash ? Thanks.

Yes, though you may wish to prepare some proof of this in case anyone comes knocking.

I plan to use an infra-red operated water sprayer to prevent foxes and cats littering my garden and potentially entering my property through open doors. This is a purpose-built device available to buy and sprays a 5 second burst of water when something walks in front of it. I assume you accept that this is a H&S related usage? Note that I have used an ultrasonic device previously but it has not been effective. Thanks

There’s nothing in the rules to say you can’t use such a device but might be worth contacting your local water company to clarify.

Am I allowed to jetwash the decking round my holiday caravan. It gets slippery from all the leaves and debris during the winter months when not in use and then when the holiday season starts it needs to be cleaned.

i work in hillingdon and my manager has said it is ok to wash 7 lorries and 6 vans with a hosepipe because the ban doesnt effect us. Is this true ?

Regardless of where you are, washing company vehicles with a hosepipe during water restrictions is allowed.

My mother in law lives in KT12 and is not sure if she can use her hose. I don’t think so – am I correct?

Please contact your local water company. We do not have the resources to offer a postcode checking facility.

hi me again, you said unfortunately i cant use hose to fill up my pool!!! just want to clarify that i can use a bucket? thanks

“filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool” is not allowed using buckets or any other method.

Note that this has now been changed by Thames Water to allow the use of filling with buckets etc. “filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand held containers filled directly from a tap);”

My neighbour is watering his garden with a hose pipe. They know its an offence and there’s no reason I know of that makes them exempt. Any advice as to how to deal with it please?

Hi, I live in the Bromley borough and we are having a children’s party but our patio has a slippery slime over it that has built up over the winter. Please confirm if it is ok for me to jet wash this to make it safe for the party (it is not a very big patio). I look forward to hearing from you.

As long as I don’t use a hose pipe, can I find another way of filling my pool other than with buckets?

Am i allowed to fill up my pool for the summer, this is only filled once and i treat the water with chemicals? i notice it says that you can fill pools up as long as you use a hand held container from the tap, but wouldnt it be more economical to use a hose to save spilling the water from the container when trying to transfer from the house to the garden!!! Thanks

Hi, I don’t listen to the radio and I don’t watch TV often. I have heard other people talking about the “hose ban” and decide to check on the internet if my area was affected before washing the car. For my surprise (despite recent flooding), there was a hose ban in my area and I did not use the hose.

How is it possible for Thames water not to send me a letter on the hose ban, while at the same time I am regularly receiving “offers” on insurance against burst pipes from the same company?! I had even called customer services and requested no more “offers” to be sent to my address. No luck so far, I still receive a bulky paper letter full of offers every now and then. And all this comes from “the first utility company to be awarded new Carbon Trust Standard” !


Am i allowed to use the jet wash to clear my garden/decking of debri and built up grime so my children can play Safetly?

Thank you

Hi there. I need to service and flush the cooling system in my car. The only way to do so successfully is to run a hosepipe in through the radiator top hose until the water runs clear. This is essential maintenance required in the manufacturers service schedule every 3 years and mine is overdue. Wil I be OK doing this (N.B. this is not cleaning the car or an optional/ cosmetic exercise – if I don’t do it there is a good chance my engine will overheat this summer and thus break down/require expensive repair if I do not complete this procedure)?

I have three dogs that go to the toilet on the decking in the garden which is starting to smell and flies are resting on it.. Can I jet wash the decking to get rid of the smell.

Hi as a builder am I allowed to use a jet wash to clean grime off the building that I am working on ?

I have heard from a passer by that the ban does not apply to Pensioners. My wife is 81 and I am coming up to 85. Is the passer by correct please?

A man from Thames water said we could use on wickets, under heath and safety, but not out field. so whos right?

We’ve not heard that officially, but if that’s what you’ve been told then of course you should go with that.

Hi work at private school, we have a lot of cricket , are we allowed to use a hoes to get wickets ready. on health and safty grounds? what a bout plants, to help sell the school?

My garden patios have become very slippery with the rain that we have had recently and often foxes mess on them. Am I able to jetwash them please as my step father who visits on a regular basis is disabled (blue badge holder) I live in Enfield Middx.