Latest News

This Year’s Hosepipe Ban – The Facts

Please note this post refers to events in 2010. For information on 2012 view our home page or here:

We’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the hosepipe ban recently put in place by United Utilities. The most popular question is along the lines of “what can I and can’t I use the hosepipe for?”

It’s really very simple at the moment.


Washing of private vehicles with a hosepipe. This includes cars, vans, caravans, trailers and motorhomes

Watering of private gardens with a hosepipe or sprinkler. This includes lawns, flower beds and ornamental gardens.

Watering private allotments with a hosepipe or sprinkler.


Using a watering can in the garden.

Using a bucket and sponge to wash your car.

Watering and cleaning animals and animal areas (ie: yards and stables)

Topping up a pond

Of course these rules may change if the drought becomes worse in the region.

44 replies on “This Year’s Hosepipe Ban – The Facts”

I have a portable battery powered pressure washer. It of course has a hose and spray gun attachment but is supplied from a 13 litre integral tank that can be filled directly from the tap without using a hosepipe. Can that be used to wash a private vehicle in the hosepipe ban?

Hi Lisa

A private individual cannot use a pressure hose/washer to clean their car. They can use it to clean a patio only if there’s a risk of injury if it isn’t cleaned.

It rained all summer last year or am I making that up. And hasn’t anyone from the utility companys thought about digging some large holes in the ground to collect water, I think they call that water management lol

You could try contacting individual water companies or perhaps the Enivironment Agency.

From the PR water companies put out I’d say it does conserve water, albeit temporarily.

Legaly United Futilities actually own all the water that falls from the sky in their area(daft as it sounds), even farmers don’t own the water in the ponds on their land.It is the use of a hose pipe that is banned and nothing to do with water being processed. Sorry but all this is LEGALY TRUE. The law is an ASS.

I use an hose pipe to water my garden, i use the water from my water butt with a pump, i also have an inspection pit in my garage that is no longer used, can’t fit car in for one thing and besides it lets water in, thats a pit 5ft deep 3ft wide and 5ft long full of water and i use a submersible pump attached to an hose pipe to water my garden, but due to amount of rain we get in Manchester this is very rare. United Utilities can only put a ban on the water that they process, as this is my rain water that is gathered and stored i there for use an hose pipe on the garden.

I use a pressure washer but it uses water from my water butts – I’ve got a submersible pump.

Can I still use this ?

I am a plumber and heating engineer by trade, you say there is a “hose pipe” ban so does that mean I am allowed to get some plasic water pipe and pipe it to the cold water and wash my car that way ad it is not a hose pipe. I agree with that I use more water to rinse my car off with buckets than using a hose pipe with a gun on the end do is not saving water.

your all quite pathetic in my opinion.
i bet before this hosepipe ban none of you even needed your hosepipe as much as when your not allowed to,its knowing your not allowed to that makes you think you need it, i think UU are quite reasonable to allow buckets as if you actually travel to the resauvoirs and see them for yourself you will see the seriousness of the situation.

you complain about them not fixing leaks and such however how many workmen do you think they have? clearly they are trying to fix all the problems but they dont have a man on every corner. its not that they can’t be bothered, as its costing them money for every leak and damage.

stop complaining and get on with yor life, its BRITAIN, there’ll be rain in half an hour.

Well, can a pressure washer be used to clean a patio or drive? The stone flags are covered with moss/algae and present a danger to people visiting (milkman, postman etc) plus of course, my family.
An answer would be extremely helpful and soon.

I live in an area of Warrington where we had
3 mains burst’s in 3wks(2 bursts one night after the other) where houses were flooded
families had to move out of their homes and
live in hotels – car’s were written off (including mine) If they maintained their pipes correctly they wouldnt waste water.Dont put the blame on the drought put it on UU. !!!!

Just to answer most of these questions in one go – please read the original post at the top of the page. This states everything that can’t be done with a hosepipe at the moment.

Everything else is perfectly alright under the ban as it is now.

Hope this helps 🙂

I’m about to go on holiday in my motorhome and need to fill the fresh water tank. I can only do this with a hosepipe (well actually I could do it with a watering can I guess, but I was planning to travel to another part of the country for two weeks rather than just travel back and forth between my kitchen and driveway.) Can I use a hosepipe to fill my tank. I suppose if filling a pond is exempt from the ban I could put my goldfish in the tank and claim it as a mobile pond!

It’s typical of this country, You pay for a service. then if you need the service. you have to pay for it again. Are UU going to cut water rates for not providing the service for which we pay them.

I have also posted the following on the FAQ section of this website but think it is worth repeating it here !

One bit of information that keeps being ommited on sites like this and in the media is the fact that


If you wish to see confirmation of this check out United Utilities website about the ban at

Sorry, but I had to use 23 buckets full of water to wash and rinse my car, I can guarantee that the pressure washer would not have wasted the ridiculous amount of water I did with buckets, plus the extra wasted whilst walking to and from the car with the buckets overflowing.
It also took twice as long as normal.

I live in Machester, and it has been raining for the last three days – a typical English summer. Is the hose pipe ban still in force? And if so, why has Uniter Utilities not fixed all the leaks, that drain 20% of its water.

Regarding jet washers, these have a hosepipe attachment, so I would imagine they are banned. Using a bucket and sponge for a while is not the end of the world. The ban says washing of private cars, so presumably this does not apply to commercial car wash facilities like IMO, and the “hand wash” centres.

It’s a joke. The North West usually suffers the wettest weather and no, with several months of dry weather there’s a ban. The water companies need to get their act together. Again, we pay the price. I’m fed up with this country it’s a joke. It’s getting third world status.

Europe has sun and high temperatures for months on end and no problems, mind you , they probably aren’t panicking about their grass not as green as next doors.

I am supposed to be having my conservatory roof cleaned. The company are unsure as to wether or not they can still come as it entails using the hosepipe.

how about pressure washers? it says you cant use a hosepipe to wash your car but what about if you use a pressure washer? pressure washers are more effective than a hosepipe and you dont use as much water do to the higher pressures.

I live in a masonette and this means bringing buckets of water from upstairs, question, can i use my hose pipe to fill the bucket?

Just make deeper reservoirs, and fix leaks, make your own operations more efficient rather than telling people what to do with water they’ve paid for. Are UU prepared to pay for damage done to cars caused by not being able to wash them?

so does this mean i CAN clean my dogs kennels out as cleaning them out with a bucket is proving to be a nightmare as cannot clean them properly and flies are being attracted.

From what I can see reading around this the “Allowed” could be sumarised as “Anything at all EXCEPT watering private gardens and allotments and washing private vehicles” and so this could include filling swimming pools, filling paddling pools, filling ponds, washing patios, filling watering cans, washing animals, washing tools, washing buildings, washing drains etc. etc.
Is this correct?
I guess the confusion around what is allowed is due to UU wanting people to think they can’t use hosepipe at all and so save more water together with a fear of problems with neighbours who don’t understand the rules.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *