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Anglian Water Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012

Updated 26/03/2012

This is the statement Anglian Water have made regarding their hosepipe ban water restrictions starting on April 5th 2012.

We will now use this page as the definitive guide on Anglian Water’s restrictions and exemptions. Please therefore refer back here if you have seen something contradictory on another part of our site which may have been written when other rules applied.

You may comment or ask questions using the comments box at the bottom of this page.

Anglian Water’s statement:

What can’t I do when I’m on a hosepipe ban?

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe.
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe.
  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe.
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe.
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool, except by using a hand held container filled directly from a tap.
  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use.
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe, except where fish or other aquatic animals are being reared or kept in captivity.
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain, except where an ornamental fountain is in a fish pond.
  • Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe.
  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe.
  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.

What am I still allowed to do?

  • Use a hosepipe in a garden or for cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises, paths or patios, a private leisure boat or an artificial outdoor surface, where such use is necessary for health and safety reasons;
  • Use a hosepipe in the course of a business to clean a private motor vehicle, or for cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises, paths or patios or an artificial outdoor surface, where this is done as a service to customers
  • Use a hosepipe to water a garden attached to a domestic dwelling or to water plants on domestic premises by people with severe mobility problems or who hold a current Blue Badge issued by their local authority.
  • Use a hosepipe to water an area of grass or an artificial outdoor surface used for playing sport or recreation (but not for any ancillary use), where this is required in connection with a national or international sports event only.
  • Use of drip or trickle irrigation watering systems fitted with a pressure reducing valve and a timer, that are not handheld and which place water by drip directly onto the soil surface or beneath the soil surface, without any surface run off or dispersion of water through the air using a jet or mist.

Are there any exemptions to the hosepipe ban?

There are some exemptions:

  • Non-domestic horticultural or agricultural activity.
  • Any activities that are necessary for health and safety reasons (i.e. necessary to remove or minimise any risk to human or animal health/safety or prevents/control the spread of causative agents of disease).

What is the definition of a garden?

A ‘garden’ includes all of the following:

  • A park.
  • Gardens open to the public.
  • A lawn.
  • A grass verge.
  • An area of grass used for sport or recreation.
  • An allotment garden.
  • An area of an allotment used for non-commercial purposes.
  • Any other grass space.

Contact details here: Anglian Water Contacts

150 replies on “Anglian Water Hosepipe Ban Restrictions 2012”

Questions are now closed for this section as the same questions have been answered many times. Please look through the previous questions and read the rules written at the top of the page.

If one member of a household has a Blue Badge and another member of the same household is able bodied (ie, husband or wife), does the exemption apply to this household?

What’s the position where there are 2 adults sharing a property and only one is a blue badge holder (the other is their husband / carer). is he allowed to use the hose or only the blue badge holder?

A water leak was reported to Anglia Water. months ago.!!

On the approach road into Morrison’s Wellingborough, water has been flowing down the road. into the drain,
We all have been threatened with a £1.000 fine for using a hosepipe,?????

How do I find out if the hosepipe ban is in force where I live? Is there a search I can do with my postcode? (NG22 0UU)

We are unable to give advice on post codes that may be affected. Please contact your local water company.

I welcome the ban; it should have been imposed 6 years ago when I first noticed important local rivers were dry, even in winter.
I currently save our bath/shower water in a water butt and want to use a hose to transfer it down a slope to another water butt in the vegetable garden. Is that allowed under the regs?

Can I use a hosepipe to fill the fresh water tank of my campervan:

a) at home

b) on a campsite

Sorry for the double click on my last question.

At home I have an irrigation system which has some runs using the trickle devices and some have tiny sprinklers. Are these acceptable?

Not with sprinklers no. Full definition of what you can use can be found higher up this page.

Whislt I am aware that berthholders cannot clean their boats using hosepipe is it ok for them to:
Clean the decks using a container filled at the tap?
Use hosepipe or container to fill their freshwater tanks?


we have a local cricket pitch near us and they usually have a hose running 24/7 all through the summer months (it only stops when they are playing cricket ((obviously))
Will they still be able to do this as its a dusgusting waste?


I have recently slipped 3 discs and have had a back operation, and am unable to carry heavy watering cans backswards and for across my garden to water the couple of flower beds that I have. Can I just check, would I be able to use a hose to fill the watering cans by the beds and turn the flow off once each watering can is full. I.E. bringing the water to the area needed by hose, in order to fill watering cans to water the garden??

Many thanks.

Hi, i grow my own veg, will i be able to water them with a hosepipe, the patch is a little big to water with a can…

Does this mean hosepipe fixed to the mains, or hosepipe fullstop.

How about if I place a large container under the outside tap, then put a waterbutt pump in it and wash the car with that?

Hi We are not supplied by anglia water, our water comes through a dyke thing and is then cleaned in a depot behind us and then electronicaly pumped to our house…yes a bit of a weird set up, so to make that clear we do not have a water supply on a mains !!
does the hoes pipe ban still apply to us ,and if it does who would fine us if we choice to use our hose pipe, as we have no water company !

Hi Kel

I can’t see how you could be stopped from using a hosepipe if this water isn’t supplied by a water company. Might be best to clear it up with them though.

We are Newmarket Town Council and we have flower beds and hanging baskets in our Town which we water Can we continue to do this or do we have to let them all die please ? We water public flowers only and we have no contact with private householders .We operate a commercial service to maintain our Public and legal commitments as a Town Council under the 1972 Local Government Act

Hi Warwick

You’ll need to speak to Anglian Water directly about this, but based on the rules available, you wouldn’t be able to do this.

What’s most surprising is that water companies haven’t spoken to town councils as you’re not the first to ask.

Hi hose
I have horses and usually wash them after exercise with a hose pipe.
Is this still allowed?

Hi Michelle

Hosepipes can be used for animal welfare issues, though the water company might suggest you use buckets for that task. Probably best to contact them.

Hi Vera

As long as it can be seen to be a health and safety issue or even animal welfare issue, yes you can do that.

I have spent the last 6 months rearing herbs and veg plants in preparation to sell at a local market. I am not a registered business but any watering from a hosepipe is ultimately for the benefit of commercial purposes…am I exempt or do I have to be a registered business?

I have three dogs who tend to use the garden as a toilet. My garden is pathed so i tend to wash down the area with a hose to keep it clean. Do you think this is a health a safety issue so therefore an exemption?

Hi James

What you have to think about is if you could convince the water company that it’s a health and safety issue. If so, you’re OK.

I’m a blue badge holder a reading the cans / cants and also the qu’s and ans above am I right in that I can water plants etc as long as I do it myself, but what about cleaning the car, there is no mention of this, am I allowed to do this myself with a hose or am I expected to carry buckets or watering cans from the hose to the car? This would really do me a lot of favours as I am an amputee and carrying anything heavy is nigh on impossible.

Hi Gary

Yes you can water the garden yourself but not wash your car with a hosepipe. Personally I’d phone them and see if they can do anything else for you.

Can you clarify the position regarding ponds. During the summer months my water levels drop due to evaporation. Can I use the hose to top up to ensure the fish are living healthily, or have I got to top up with buckets?

Hi Steve

You can top up a pond with a hosepipe if it has animals (of some sort) living in it.

Hi Mary

No you can’t, it’s classed as a motor vehicle. Can be done with buckets though.

Hi I have just had my whole lawn turfed what do i do as it needs watering every day and i cant use a bucket!!!

we clean drives/roofs as a business though usually use customers water/our hose pipe ,this ok?

Hi Mark

Not easy to say where roofs are concerned. You’ll need ask Anglian Water for clarification.

I have heard that we will still be allowed to use a hosepipe to fill Motorhomes Fresh Water Tank.Is this true?

Hi Laurence

We believe that to be true but are awaiting clarification.

what is the definition of a private motor vehicle,as we have a buisness van owned by a partnership which has to be kept clean

Will my husband be allowed to clean his van as its used to sell fresh seafood from?

Hi Angie

As long as it’s a company van owned by a business, he can clean it with a hosepipe/pressure washer.

My wife is crippled with arthritis registered disabled and qualifies for blue badge.
She has a hydro spa pool due to be installed to help improve her health/mobility
Would she be able to fill it with hose pipe?

Hi Jonny

Although no water company specifies an exemption for something this specific, it’s difficult to see how it wouldn’t be allowed. Please contact your local water company to see what they say.

Hi Steve

This has been allowed in the past but as Anglian Water don’t specify if this is still OK you should contact them to ask.

We live within the Anglian water region, however all our water is sourced from a well. We don’t pay water rates. Are the hose pipe restrictions applicable to us?

Hi Jonathan

Another tricky one. On the face of it it should be a yes from me but there are some occasions when water companies still don’t allow you to use hosepipes. Please contact them for their opinion.


Hello Hose,

I like quite a few of your other above enquirers have recently seeded new grass, and I see that people are able to make use of a submersible pump. I have a storm water drain that runs at the front of my house into the river , will I be allowed to put the submersible in the storm water drain to water my garden?

Hi David

Not so sure about that if it’s feeding into the river. I’d be tempted to say yes, but would prefer if you contact the water company instead for their answer.

Blue Badge/mobility exemption only applies if there are no “fit” persons living in the home

I’ve just lifted, divided and re-planted perennials and ferns (some of which are rare/choice plants) and watering in hot weather is essential for root development and also prevents plants from reaching permanent wilting point.
Spent a lot of money on soil preparation so the ground holds onto water more effectively. I’m a professional horticulturalist and will not be wasteful or happy if I lose any of my treasured plants!
What do you suggest?

Hi Lisa

If it’s part of how you earn a living you may be allowed to continue. May be best to ask advice of water company.

I am supposed to be having my garden re-turfed at the end of April, do you think I should put this off or wait and see if the hosepipe ban is lifted by then as obviously it will need watering.

Hi Sarah

We’re not in a position to give you such advice, though the bans are likely to last for months and currently no exemption is being given for watering new lawns with hosepipes.

Can you have water pouring into a bucket and than have a submersible pump in that bucket pumping through a hosepipe to water my plants (not for business)??

Hi Joe

You couldn’t have a flow of water from your tap into your bucket, no.

All our local marinas provide hosepipes on their pontoons. Presumably boat washing (other than for a specific H&S purpose) will not be permitted, but what about filling the boat’s domestic water tank, water from which is used for normal household purposes ie drinking, washing up, handwashing etc. iread somewhere on th Anglian Water site that caravans will be allowed to fill their water tanks using a hose pipe- is this also specifically allowed for leisure boats?

Hi Rick

No cleaning of private boats with hosepipes but OK to fill with water.

Hi I am also a mobile Valeter but when i phoned Anglian water they said to me that i was not aloud to draw water from my house or customers houses? Also could i have a tank in my van and use that would that be ok? If i was to fill it from Commercial place would i have to prove that??

Hi Mark

Another grey area I’m afraid. They say in their rules that you can wash private cars in the course of a business but don’t say you can’t take the customer’s water.

I guess all you can do is as you suggest, filling a tank and somehow being able to prove it was from commercial premises.

Im a mobile Valeter i use client power and water to carry out this service whats the rules on this??

Hi Daniel

If you look further up this page under “What am I still allowed to do?” it tells you that you are still able to carry out your business are normal.

Should i get stopped what do i do?

Show a business card or something.?

Im always in uniform.

I imagine the person challenging you would request certain details from you to prove you are a business. Not sure what those would be though.

“Use of drip or trickle irrigation watering systems fitted with a pressure reducing valve and a timer, that are not handheld and which place water by drip directly onto the soil surface or beneath the soil surface, without any surface run off or dispersion of water through the air using a jet or mist.”

Can I use a ‘soaker hose’ on my veg plots connected to a hose and my outside tap via a timer? Looking at the above rule I would say this is ok, as it will be on a timer, will be pressure controlled (soaker hose) and will drip water direct to soil.


Hi Neil

Tricky one as soaker hoses have been banned in the past, though this year’s rules are quite different with regards irrigation systems. Probably best to contact Anglian if in doubt.

Is it ok to use a 12v powered garden sprayer, it has its own tank that can be filled with buckets, if I read the rules correctly this is ok even though it has its own clear plastic hose between the tank and spreayhead. It will NOT be connected to the mains supply, just filled with buckets.

Hi Hose

In Anglian region will we be allowed to water plants in pots & baskets eg tomatoes in the greenhouse with a hose or is this also banned? I read in the comments elsewhere on the website that watering pots is still ok but there doesn’t seem to be anything specific either way on the Anglian rules

Hi Jan

As you say, nothing specified either way in their rules and based on what’s been allowed elsewhere we assume pots, containers and baskets can all be watered with a hosepipe. Might be worth contacting Anglian Water directly though.

Hello Hose

I am planning to lay a new lawn for a lcient this week and it has been in the pipe line for a month or so now. I have heard and read that new lawns can be watered for 28 days. I am a little confused when it states above:

There are some exemptions:
â– Non-domestic horticultural or agricultural activity

Strictly speaking it is horticultral activity as it is my living to maintain peoples gardens. I can understand that watering or plants isn’t allowed ans can be done by a can or bucket and the owners will be doing this as normal but a new lawn that i am paid to lay and look after yet it is the front garden of a property makes me a little confused!
I also believe the client is over the age of 65 and so am i worrying fo no reason? If i were to water it on here behalf, is that breaking the rules or If a neighbour or passer by saw her watering it and were to complain to the council, would they send someone out to investigate causing her unnecessary grief when she is entitled to?

Thanks Nick

Hi Nick

The 28 days thing has not been verified, it was just a proposal, though you should ask the water company directly and they may allow this for you. Same with the over 65 thing “ not automatic under Anglian Water.

Hi there Hose
Can you tell me how to find out which areas are covered by the ban. I am at DN22 0HU

Hi Biddy

Which water company are you with? They often have post code checkers on their website.

What a crock of (you know)!!!

You cant use a hosepipe for certain tasks but you can use a bucket or watering can. Well that stupifies the point of a hosepipe ban.

Using a bucket to fill a pool uses the same amount of water.It just means its harder work.
Using a watering can to water veg or flowers means you will use probably less water. So thats fine. Exemption if disabled holding a blue badge. Certain disabled people cant get blue badges, but they will have to cart water around in a bucket.
Using a bucket to wash a car is a reasonable measure.
Using a hosepipe if it means you are in danger of breaching Health and Safety Legislation, is acceptable. But still a joke, because you can still use a bucket.

Sorry Anglian Water, the rules are about as sensible as a chocolate fireguard.

At our bowling club we have a automatic watering system it runs for 20 minutes a night, sending out a jet of water from four pop up sprinkler heads. The water tank for this system is filled from the metered mains. Are we still allowed to use it during the hosepipe ban ?

Many thanks