Hosepipe Ban News

Animals And The Hosepipe Ban

We’ve been receiving many questions from the owners of animals in all shapes and sizes asking if hosepipe ban rules apply to them. This post should help clear things up.

Please note that these are guidelines only – you may wish to contact your local water company for clarification.

Generally speaking the use of a hosepipe for the cleaning, maintenance and general well-being of any kind of animal is seen as being exempt from hosepipe ban rules. These are issues of animal welfare and not normally part of restrictions.

All water companies have to adhere to certain conditions laid out by the government. The government requires that under a hosepipe ban the welfare of animals must be protected.

A few examples of what is acceptable under hosepipe ban water usage restrictions:

  • Topping up/changing water in ponds that contain fish or other species such as frogs, newts etc.
  • Cleaning of animals and their living quarters
  • Filling drinking troughs for animals

Obviously these rules are open to interpretation and indeed abuse. As long as you are genuinely using a hosepipe for the welfare of an animal you should have no problems.


25 replies on “Animals And The Hosepipe Ban”

I am retired and have two jack russell dogs. The dogs like to have water in their small pool so as to cool down, lying or standing in it. I only fill it to a couple of inches so can do this with a bucket. But at 71 years old I find this a strain. Can I use a hosepipe for this? I am Souther Water and don’t have a ban yet but need to know in case.

Not easy to give a definite answer, but in the past you would have been fine to use a hosepipe, given the welfare needs of your dogs and the strain on you. Hopefully this exemption will be allowed if you do get a hosepipe ban in your area.

I rang the water company as I have rubber matting instead of concrete in my garden due to being epileptic. This was an adaptation put in by an OT. In this heat the rubber is scorching hot and needs to be hosed down just so I can put my dog out safely for a wee etc otherwise she’d end up with burnt pads. If I was to have a seizure whilst out in the garden with her, falling during a seizure, I’d burn myself if the rubber wasn’t hosed down during the time my dog was out doing her business. It’s too hot to walk her during the day and I have a spinal condition so I need to be able to let the dog out. I was made exempt from the ban on health and safety grounds and due to being a vulnerable customer

Thank you , I am now happy to use a hose pipe for drinking water for my 2 pet sheep , 15 hens and 3 ducks , I have to carry water to my paddock and was concerned someone might see me . I am with Thames Water

We have poultry and we are small scale breeders we have 8 pens and we use a hose to fill water drinkers at the end of our garden, the drinkers are minimum of 6 litre to 15 litres depending on size of pens, we have a valve/tap on the end of our hose so no water is wasted, in effect it’s more a tap extension, rather than running up and down the garden with heavy containers.
I also admin a poultry group on Facebook with over 2300 members, we understand that poultry and livestock are exempt from any hose pipe ban, is there an up to date link that I can share with my group to clarify procedures,
I whole heartedly understand we need to adhere to these bans put in place and do our bit to help, but the rules need to be clear transparent and easy enough to obtain in such a format, please can you advise?

You’re quite right that exemptions are usually in place for such purposes as the feeding and cleaning of animals. The problem we have is that every water company has its own rules, worded in their own ways. On top of that, these rules change slightly over the years.

Therefore our website can only publish these rules as and when they are published by the water company when it introduces a hosepipe ban. So to get to your answer, you’d need to ask your own local water company themselves – or wait to see if a ban is introduced and get clarification then.

My water is supplied by Thames water my water butts are currently empty (i was conecting my jet wash to them ) My dogs are in a run during the day this needs to be wshed down i daily do it with buckets of water BUT would love to know if under their rules i can hose or jet wash it down even once a week to ensure it is clean .Of course as soon as it rains and the butts fill up i will make good use of them again but need to know the rules in between times thank you

I telephoned Thames Water this morning regarding the ‘hosing down of my incredibly dirty smelly dog’ situation and whether or not it was permissible.
The answer was yes it was allowed because it comes under health and safety and that does include the welfare of pets.
I did say to the very helpful person I spoke to that I was concerned that someone would report me for using a hose, but the Thames Water Customer Services Lady I spoke to logged my call, my water account details, my name, address etc. and that we had discussed the use of a hose for my dog when dirty, just in case I was reported.
Hope this helps.

Hi Viviane

Many thanks for passing on that information, I’m sure it will help others reading this page.

Hi Hose

I don’t know if it was actually necessary to apply for the exemption but I wanted it in Black and White that I was able to use my hosepipe.

If anybody was caught using a hosepipe to clean out animals, I cannot see that a court case would be brought as, like you say, we have a legal duty to ensure animal welfare and our own health and safety.

When I am cleaning the coops, I will position them right next to the veggies to catch any run off. The ‘manure’ will be good for the plants anyway so that’s a bonus!
The kids paddling pool will be filled with used bath water run from the bathroom out of the window with a separate length of hose! so with a bit of planning, nothing needs to be neglected despite the ban (I never wash my car anyway so no issues there 😀 ).

Understood Penny. Some water companies are asking for exemptions to be applied for.

Sounds like you have everything under control 🙂

I applied to South East Water for an exemption as I keep chickens – I was awarded the exemption under health and safety as I said I need to hose down my grass and patio to wash away any fouling from free ranging hens and blast their coops out with water to keep them clean and get rid of any parasites such as red mite.

Worth applying to your local water co if you have pets as keeping them clean is health and safety for you and your family AND animal welfare.

They have confirmed my exemption by email and have put a confirmation letter in the post also.

Many thanks for your input Penny, I’m sure it will help many people reading this.

I should also point out that the law says you have a legal duty to look after the welfare of animals in your care. Therefore we wonder why having to apply for an exemption is needed. In our opinion water companies shouldn’t be asking you to apply for an exemption for this.

I think the Water Companies need a good dose of common sense. MIne tells me that I can’t give my muddy Springer a quick hose down as that is against the regulations. I pointed out that it isn’t explicitly forbidden and should be allowed under the welfare of animals exemptions – especially as the alternative of putting the dog in the bath or the shower will probably use MORE water as the bath will also need cleaning afterwards.

In all reality it would never get to court even if they knew about it as they would look rather stupid – then again….

Hi Hose, I have a dog who spends the night in a shed and she had very bad diahorrea overnight, it is all over the place on the shed floor. I have just spoken to Veloia and they said I can’t use a hosepipe. They expect me to hygenically clean it up with a broom and bucket (which will effectively transfer and smear the germs even more). I am also pregnant and I should minimise contact with this type of dirt. I find it very revolting that sports fields are watered and I can’t use the pipe for this.

The water companies need to get their act together to clarify these rules and apply them consistently. I am a hedgehog rehabilitator and have been told by my water company (Veolia Central) that it is NOT permissable to use a hose to clean the animals’ urine and excrement from my patio, where I have some hogs in pens being prepared for release. I have pointed out to them that water at mains pressure is necessary for this task as they smear the stuff all over the place, that it attracts flies, bacteria etc and you can’t clean it properly with a watering can but they have said I can’t do it. As I don’t want my hedgehogs, or my cat, to become ill due to inadequate cleaning I am very tempted to ignore them, much as I am a great believer in saving water wherever possible, I think they just wrong in this case. The most annoying thing is that another rehabber in the same water area has been told that IS allowed but even when I rang them back and told them this they insisted that I can’t do it.

Great news, my pond needs its yearly clean out and refilling for the good of my fish, at least they won’t suffer.

I still haven’t had an answer with regard to washing my dogs’ faeces down the sewer with the use of the hose. I usually collect the dog dirt in a bicket and then flush down the sewer using the hose, is this allowable under the animal welfare rules?

Greeat, so I can wash my horse down, for a show say, but cant use a hose on my allotment that helps feed the family!! hhmmmm something wrong there i think!!

Hi Lesley, here’s something that is not making the headlines on the water shortage.
My brother used to work for the water board and get this, there are hundreds of thousands of leaks not being dealt with, right across the UK and around our homes. There would be No need for this current water shortage if the Thames water board and the private sector actually fixed all these Major or smaller Leaks.
My retired Uncle recently called out his local water company because he has been hearing running water for years, the waterboard came out but found No Problem.
My uncle decided he would have a meter fitted and the Wham within a week he had used a months water…. but he had not used that amount of water of course, so he called the waterboard who in the end turned up and dug up his path and found the leak that he reported years ago and now its fixed.
So just how many other leaks are there out their ?
Could question i think,hence why have we got a water Ban in place when the water board is not doing its job Propely.

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