Hosepipe Ban News

Hosepipe Bans Due on April 5th

Seven water companies in southern and eastern England have said they will impose water restrictions after two very dry winters have left reservoirs, aquifers and rivers below normal levels.

Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East will enforce hosepipe bans.

“East Anglia and south east England are in drought. Parts of central England, south west England and south east Yorkshire continue to be affected by dry weather. It’s anticipated that the risk of drought in the spring and summer in these areas is high.” – Says the Environment Agency.

The area now under official drought is slowly rising north and it’s expected parts of Yorkshire may be included soon.

Many reservoirs in the southern half of England are currently below half of their normal levels for this time of year. However, further north many reservoirs are overflowing, bringing up the old question of why stocks can’t be moved south during times like this.

89 replies on “Hosepipe Bans Due on April 5th”

I notice that comercial car washes and DIY car wash companies are still allowed to use water. Therefore, I will also continue to wash my car. When they stop, I will. We will be told that they are allowed to use water because they pay more for the priviledge. Sorry, but paying more doesn’t make it rain any harder!! Will will also be told that all their water is recycled….not the case!!

We are having neighbourly debates but does anyone have any clarity is Southampton going to come under the hose pipe ban on 5 th April?

I think its only fair that if the North have to put up with the worst weather & the South get the better weather than the South cant have the best of everything! If the North has the most water its only what we have had to endure on many occassions.

So where is the vast improvements we were promised from privitisation? All bill have increased substantially and have gone into the pockets of shareholder not into improving the system.

So, picking up on a couple of earlier posts and summerising;

– There is water in the North of the UK but not as much in the South
– Those living in the North believe it’s their water and should not be shared freely with Southerners
– In general, the cause of water shortage is less rainfall and more demand, so not enough to go around
– Southerners believe that Northerners get all the government funding

So the answer is Simples…..

Instead of being covert about it lets be open and go back to the medieval approach and cull anyone north of Watford Gap.

This would be a win – win for those in the South, we wouldn’t have to subsidise the North anymore, so all our tax bills could be reduced, and we could have all the water we want.

Now before anyone suggests reversing this and culling the Southerners, it won’t work. No one in the North has a job so there would be no tax advantage.

In case anyone doesn’t have the brain power to realise it, this is just meant to poke fun at those prejudiced people from both ends of the country.

We are in this together, like it or not and we should band together in the face of adversity, and go steel all that water that Scotland has, not to mention the need to maintain our strangle hold on any remaining North Sea oil that Scots have the audacity to believe is theirs.

grumpy old man i totally agree with you, i from liverpool and was actually in london today (am now on my way home on the train on my phone)

i tried to explain your idea to a guy at the bus stop today but he didnt speak very good english so i am unsure on whether he agreed with me? next i tried to explain it to another guy on the bus who must have thought i was from immigration because he kept trying to give me his ID. i found this really funny but unfortunately i wasn’t able to share it with anyone round london because nobody really speaks English as their first language?

Hang on….is London still part of the uk?
FYI…..the North West doesn’t receive half as much funding as it actually provides to central government, obviously the BBC has clocked on to something that you guys down south haven’t figured out yet……I’ll leave you to simmer on that one.
And as for raising capitol finances for the country….London the financial capital of the world….so it would be fair to say that the reason the country is in this mess was because of you guys down south ….jeeeez thanks London folk…now my social security will be taken away from me….hang on i have never claimed a penny in my life so its all good!!
Great chatting to you mate

Too many houses being built in the south-east. One of the heaviest-hit areas for water shortages yet population being encouraged to rise!

Nice legacy of the last labour government… thanks!

As we have been restricted on a prepaid service we subscribe to are the water companies prepared to give discounts to those affected by the bans?

Please tell me why we flush pure water down the toilet and then end up with a hose pipe ban! Why can’t we do what other countries do and use partially treated water for the toilet, baths, washing machines etc and then pay a much smaller amount for the pure water we drink. Surely this is a much better solution

I cant understand what a country like england can possibly struggle to find enough water. I lived in South Africa for a short time and never heard of a hose pipe ban, but they get a lot less rainfall than we do. We are not a hot dry country. Why cant water companies cope?

i live in wooburn green ,buckinhamshire and have a pool,i got told we already have a water ban on and i cant fill it .can somebody help as im confused as iv now read its not till april 5th .

Hi pool

The hosepipe bans don’t start until April 5th so you can do what you like before then.

Thames Water state a hosepipe cannot be used to fill a domestic pond. We have koi carp in our pond, which obviously means the pond requires maintenance. Can we still do it, for animal welfare reasons?

Hi Felix

We believe you can do this as it’s an animal welfare issue and we will be contacting Thames Water this week to confirm, along with all the other water companies.


I recently heard a politician saying how expensive it would be to build a national water grid to provide the south with more water, not so for a hispeed rail link. How much more industry, housing, plus global warming before some politcian gets his or her head round the need for water

Why are the mega amounts of leaks etc NOT being fixed by the water company and now in April we will have a hosepipe ban does this mean my £54 a month water direct debit is going to be cut due to not being able to use water as i would like to (ie) filling a swimming pool, using pressure washer etc ?

Is it just a coincidence that all the area’s facing the hose pipe ban are hard water area’s? And could it be that our waste of water using water softeners to give us nice soft water is the reason why we don’t have any?


I have a pound with many fish in it. The pump needs to be replaced so I’ll need to empty, clean and refill it soon. Does this mean i need to do it before Aprill arrives.

Hi Monkey

As there are fish in your pond you’ll still be able to use your hosepipe to fill it after the ban starts.

hi, i have a big fish tank, normally i fill water with the hose pipe. will i be allowed to use hose pipe when the ban is active?

In January I purchased a 12ft above ground swimming pool for my girls birthday in April. Does this mean I will not be permitted to fill it? I will only be filling it once during the summer. Is there any way round this? What a waste of money and my girls will be heartbroken 🙁

Hi Mum

If possible, fill it before April 5th when the bans come in. After that you’d only be allowed to fill it using buckets.

Thanks for your message. I’m going to organise a “fill the pool” party and people can bring their own bucket!

I don’t believe it, all officials say its because winters been dry, it’s crap, water is short because no new resoivoirs have been made and there’s millions more houses using the same supply

Being one of many horse owners how does the ban affect us around BN11, 12 & 13 areas.

How does
Watering and cleaning animals and animal areas (ie: yards and stables)effect us.

Hi Susan

If you live in an area where a hosepipe ban is in place you can still use a hosepipe for animal welfare issues, so you would be fine to continue looking after your horses with the aid of a hosepipe.

The primary cause of this years water ban is as we all know lack of rainfall and increased demand. We also have a shortage of oil,food,and so on.
The main cause of all these problems is over population particularly here in England. The answer then is to reduce the demand .How ? Really curtail immigration in the UK and take note of the Chinese and restrict families to two children and discourage over-breeding (family farms) by stopping family allowance on more than two children in the U.K. Immigrants are known also to have much larger families.

Had many of the water reservoir’s not been filled in & housing built on we would have enough water. Also many of the water companies are guilty of not maintaining the water reservoirs properly! Also if the argument is that there is not enough room for new water reservoirs to be built above ground in the areas that are often short of water then why can’t water reservoirs be built underground?

Nigel, Thatcher wasn’t in power during the last major hosepipe ban in 1976 was she? Did things work better then?

This clearly calls for thevrenationalisation of water companies to allow for national strategic planning,mbuilding of inter area pipelines and reservoir construction , none of which are in the interests of private profit making companies for whom restrictions and price increases are incentives to greater profit. The current crisis is yet another disastrous result of Thatcherite policies of selling off national assets.

Hi Sue

Most water companies haven’t mentioned this, though South East Water have said over 65s and blue badge holders are exempt in that area. There’s no special rule for over 65s and the disabled to be exempt from a ban by law, but please contact your local water company to ask if they are making this exception. It’s their choice.

Bev. Please don’t complain at the attitude of the Northerners. When you see all the money and resources going to the South (Olympics, Millenium Dome, HS2 etc) then it is only to be expected they will become irritated by it. If more money was invested in the North, it would create more jobs and more people would live there thereby spreading out the users of the water more effectively.

Regarding the hose pipe ban, I have 900 L of water butt storage and use these for gardening, washing cars and household chores outside. I use a hose and gravity feed. Is this still permissible post 5th of April.

Hi Ian

Depends where the water butt gets its water from. If rainwater or recycled water from your house its OK. If it’s fed from your mains water supply it’s not OK.

With the attitude of ‘some’ of your northern contributors; Now I understand why and what the North / South devide is.

Its very simple:

If they’ve ‘got it’, then stuff everybody, we are going to keep it.

If they ‘have’nt got it’, then whine & moan, and ‘expect’ somebody to give it to them.

‘Sigh’, what a sad state of affairs :o(

There’s been a nort south divde for years the south got all the investment while the north was left to rot now the south are cry for our water yes its ours we pay our bills so pay up for the pipeline if you want one or drink your piss

Companies have to submit a plan to OFWAT the regulator. Ask what has OFWAT been doing to make sure we don’t get into this situation.
It doesn’t matter to them if we have water or not,they are only concerned how quickly companies answer the phone.

How about a giant paddling pool, bath and power shower ban instead? It would probably save more water since most people have converted their front garden into a double driveway and decked over the back one. I don’t see the problem with me using my hose to water plants I would use the can on – the only differnce ids the amount of time it takes me, not the amount of water used. Fair enough, ban sprinklers, but sensible watering with the hose should not be tantamount to a criminal offense. Gardeners often take many positive steps to preserve water – using wastewater and collecting rainwater, adding water retaining gel and bark to preserve moisture. People who waste water in the home do not have a similar attitude to water use. But it’s easy and justifiable to fly over peoples houses and film/photograph them in their gardens, admittedly there is no way to enforce or monitor water usage in the home but outdoor and indoor culture has changed yet this bizzare policy remains.

The necessity for a hosepipe ban has more to do with consistantly bad management and lack of investment than it does a lack of rainfall !! As customers we have a contract with the water companies: We Pay / They deliver.

When they cannot deliver why are we not given a rebate?? Its time to take these water companies companies to task !!

As i understand at the moment irrigation systems are not effected and if you have dripline that is not a hosepipe, if you have gone to the expense of irrigation you know that it is a way of conserving water, Making use of timers and keeping the plants from stress is ok, the only area i would not worry about is the lawn,let that take care of itself.
The unattended hosepipe is what the waterboards are nervous about, there is no less water than when the world began(fact check waterwise website)its just not in the right place at the moment

Hi Tim

You’re quite correct, irrigation systems are allowed in 2012. Interestingly in previous hosepipe bans irrigation systems have not been allowed, even though they use much less water.

To the chap who says were not in it together we should stop our subsidy of the council rates that we have to pay to the north that flow is one way

To water your plant when you are away, you could connect dripline to the timer instead of hose, this will get water to the roots without the problem of wasting water, you could time it so it runs early in the morning or late at night when evaporation is not a problem.If you have a water butt the timer could be fitted on there and the water would be gravity fed

Can anyone advise what to do when going on holiday? I am happy to water the garden with a watering can, but when I am away for 2 weeks I was going to set up a hosepipe/sprinkler on a timer to water my greenhouse only. Can anyone suggest another way of ensuring the plants get watered while I’m away. Unfortunately cannot ask neighbours! Appreciate any ideas.

Hi Ellie

You definitely can’t do it with a hosepipe/sprinkler. You’ll need to buy and set up an irrigation system instead.

An alternative way of looking at it would be for the northern water companies to sell surplus water to the south and reduce the water bills of northerners.

Of course the cynical may say that money wouldn’t be passed onto northern bill payers at all and that water may then become scarce up there too 🙂

Ah, so it could now be attractive to live further North?

I am firmly opposed to the transfer of natural resources to benefit the South. Not even if you beg!

Desalinate from the sea and pay the associated costs yourselves.

Contrary to what Mr Cameron etal believe, we are most definitely not in this together!

Nothing attractive about living in the North apart from the nice scenery.

Seeing as the last government has put billions into the North at the expence of the South it shouldn’t be a problem to pipe excess water back, and it’s the North that begged where do you think all the money comes from.

You are correct we are not all in it together, we are not all millionaires in the South.

Can anyone advise whether hosepipe bans are by region or by company? I do not use Thames Water, but am in the region. Presumably, I can use a hosepipe even when a ban is in force.

Hi Hayley

As long as they don’t connect a hosepipe or pressure washer to a domestic property’s mains water supply they can carry on as normal.

hi my mum wants to know if we will be affected by this. Are we? we live near Aylesbury. thxs
Someone Xx

Hi Someone

Aylesbury is covered by Thames Water I believe, so yes you will be affected by the hosepipe ban.

The problem is that UK relays too much on rain. As UK is used to rain you guys did not build an proper infrastructure for distribution of water as France or Germany did !! ANyway in the future as this infrastructure is going to get better and better you will be able to overcome these problems.

connect your hosepipe to your tap, lay it out to the end of your garden, and fill up your watering can with your hose at the end of your garden…. your hosepipe is no longer functioning as a hosepipe and cannot be called a hosepipe… it is then a flexible extention of your plumbing!!!!!

Its a shame that history is forgotten. Where’s the pipe from up north; how many leaks have been fixed and why hasn’t extra water been sourced?

I may sound like some old codger, but just because the water companies have got their PR sorted to ‘manage exprectations’ but where’s the operational back up. Ring the customer service line and you’re fobbed off. My business relies on water. OK, we’re not first up for a
Ban but we’re next.
What bonuses will these Directors get for delivering the same tightening as we got last time and the time before that.

Seriously not impressed!

Would I still be able to use my drip irrigation system?
Like many other disabled people, I am unable to use a watering can to water my vegetables…

Plenty water up here in Scotland. Some places have had x6 expected rainfall of the South.Some places it has ahrdly stopped raining this winter.
Will ship for cash.

Forgive me if I’m being thick but have we not been warned about this possibility for many, many years? So where was the investment when water was “cheap”? I suspect the answer is “no let’s wait until the situation becomes desperate so we can justify the costs without being questioned what we did with the money when water was plentiful”. Utterly pathetic planning by total incompetents too interested in maximising their profits and salaries. After all it is not rocket science to link up resevoirs around the country. If fuel can and is shuffled all around the country so can water.

For years the idea of moving water around the country has been mooted by way of dedicated pipelines. Expensive yes, but feasible.

A good example is the huge ‘ring-main’ of piping that Yorkshire Water installed around 1995 that moves water from more plentiful to more needy parts of the substantial Yorkshire region.

I totally agree with the previous comment.
We are an island – surrounded by sea (the levels of which we are continually being told is rising). Why not therefore have desalination plants and syphon off the sea water to fill the resevoirs. They use desalination in other parts of the world. Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but it seems so obvious!

Naval ships do it to replenish their drinking/showering water supply.

Granted it may be expensive but we pay more than enough for the water we use, they would never opt for it simply because the ‘Fat Cats’ wouldn’t recieve the large bonuses they currently get.

Dont worry about us ‘the bill payers’ we are just little fish in a big pond.

To syphon it, we would have to build desalination plants below sea level.

It would be a far better solution to either pump it. Of course, one could rely on the natural ability of water to find its own level, but that would cause problems because of the tide.

we don’t pump you from the sea because its very expensive in electricity and chemicals to remove the salt using reverse osmosis, the process which all de-salination plants use. It maybe that that’s what will happen in the future but someone will have to pay for the icnreaed costs! We would get better value from moving water from wetter areas of the country down south than use desal.

why don’t you just pump me from the sea,
filter me and use me?

do you really think that the human race is that stupid?

i am all around you and you do not use me?
what a waste

Perhaps another over simplistic view about moving water from the wetter north to the south – i seem to recall a system of canals that still exist and which stretch from north to south!

All the pipes are carrying fresh water, there are no pipes carrying salt water- so you cant mix the two. We cant drink salt water, and the costs of laying on a parallel set of pipes would double if not treble your water bill, are you happy to shell out?

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