Despite sending warning letters to 4200 people during the 9 month hospeipe ban, Thames Water have admitted that nobody was prosecuted for flouting the restrictions. The maximum penalty is £1000 but as we discussed last year, no water company (that we know of) decided to take court action over naughty hosers.
Nicky Savage, spokesperson for Thames Water said:
“We haven’t had any prosecutions, but we have sent warning letters to 4,200 people. We think the ban was a contributory factor to people being more aware of water usage. During the hottest part of the drought in July, average water consumption was down 10 per cent, and while we can’t attribute it completely to the ban, it helped.
“We had an unprecedented level of requests to have water meters and water butts fitted in homes. People were taking heed to our recommendations to use showers rather than baths. A lot of London homes in the area we cover don’t have gardens and aren’t car users, so they’re less likely to use hosepipes.”
As we asked last year – what was the point of a ban? Surely an education program would have been more suitable than shaking a big stick at everyone? And the irony being that the big stick was never actually used to hit anyone.
Nicky Savage’s statement more or less says that the hosepipe ban was really just an exercise in letting everyone know that we were short of water – just like statements from other water companies last year. Nothing wrong with that, but why a hosepipe ban? All Thames Water did by introducing a ban was highlight the vast profits made by the company whilst wasting vast quantities of water through leaking pipes.