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Would You Shop A Neighbour?

It’s poll time! Our first question is:

Would you inform your local water company if you knew a neighbour was ignoring the hosepipe ban?

Are we all in this together and should people be taken to court for ignoring the ban? Perhaps you feel you couldn’t be so mean to ‘dob in’ a neighbour? Or do you simply not care what your neighbours get up to?

Please note that your input is 100% anonymous.

You may also wish to leave a comment below. Again, this is 100% anonymous and we never share your details with anyone. If you’re still concerned, use a false email address.

107 replies on “Would You Shop A Neighbour?”

i can not understand why neighbours would want to report each other. it just goes to show how many people wish unhappiness on each other and its sad. Most people who would use a hose pipe would be doing it for there kids benefit in the heat as not every family can afford to entertain there children during the summer. Any sensible person would realise that this is yet another scare tactic from the govermnent that there is a drought just like they got everyone panicing about petrol.Its all political thats why they will lift the hose pipe ban when the olympics begin to pretend we are a rich country. I say love thy neighbour! Whats the point in upsetting your neighbours when realistically it hasnt stopped raining!!

Well I hate to say this but I have little sympathy for the Water Utilities, I pay on a meter and ignore the (predictable) ban each year. Happy to pay more if needed. I’m entitled to a service as I pay for it.. Right? If everyone did this it will force the companies to invest in reserve capacity more urgently because it makes the proble worse.

SE Water paid 30% of their profit back to shareholders (£30m) rather than invest in loans from their Aussie and Canadian owning parent companies to increase capacity.

Shopping your friends and the folks you live next to reminds me of Nazi tactics.

Imagine if petrol bans existed such you could only have some for emergency travel! this is 2012 people.

That’s my rant over, sure it will bring out the do gooders. Now must water my hanging baskets before it gets too hot! BTW the Utility serving the next door county has no ban so I might give them my business… Oh wait … I can’t!

Toodle pip

I think I would inform on blatant breaches of hosepipe bans. I do feel, considering the state of some parts of the world where people only have disease ridden muddy puddles to drink from, that we in the UK are obscene in our waste of water. Filling a swimming pool in the back garden ??? You bet your life I would blow the whistle.

All said, I think we are a nation of self-centred hypocrytes.

Well, here we are, almost 2 hours later, and the hosepipe is still running, water flying everywhere, the kids having a great time on the water slide and spraying each other, but where are Thames Water????? Not just the kids – mother is making sure the hose goes back on the slide!

The water companies have this year (more or less) stated they won’t be putting enforcement officers on the street to find ‘culprits’. Instead they are relying on the general public to report them.

Whether or not they do anything once you’ve told them, is another matter.

I would report a neighbour for running a hospipe to run a water slide for her children for hours on end, but there is no facility on the automated answering machine to do this. Fine if you want to pay a bill, or report a leak, but none for breach of hosepipe ban. Why? I am not using my hospipe even though my veg garden is in danger of dying.

Most of the guidance on the dos and don’ts of the hose pipe ban are quite clear with the exception of this 1 which will probably be the most popular in light of the hot weather facing us in the next week or so:(You can’t) ‘â– Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool, except by using a hand held container filled directly from a tap.’

Can you clarify- if a hand held container is used to fill the pool this is an exemption from the ban?

My neighbour has been using a hosepipe to fill her very very large pool for the last 18 hours and it’s still not full! I really do feel I’d love to shop her – within half hour of it being full the kids will be diving and splashing around and it will need re-filling!
And here’s me worried about clearning my patio!

Maybe, just maybe……If they repaired 80% of the leaks then there might not be
a hosepipe ban.?!?!?!?
I do not agaree with it whatsoever!

Govenrnment telling everyone to inform on their neighbours, remind you of anyting? turning more like a nazi state by the day, thank god the toon has all the water

Entirely up to you. If you wish to do so, you should contact your local water company.

Why has this turned into a slagging match on the BLUE Badge Holders/Disabled.
Unless any of you are medically qualified to assess these people you have no right to criticise.And no I don’t have one in case you were thinking that. You are jealous of their badge and the privileges it gives them, but I bet you are not jealous of their disability and I bet your’e the first ones to rush to the front of the Queue because you are fully able. This is typical of our society today ” Knock the already Knocked “. I also bet your the ones who park in the disabled bays at the supermarket Because there are no Parent / Family Bays left. I am a parent and we chose to have our children as you did but Blue Badge holders didn’t chose to have their disability . SO LEAVE THEM ALONE>

Very well said. They do not choose to be disabled. So they get to park closer to the supermarket! So what.

Im going to carry on using my water as usual, hosepipes, pressure washers and watering my plants as often as humanly possible, i pay stupidly high rates so im going to use it, and if anyone grasses me up they wont know whats hit em!!!! up the blades!!

i think this hose pipe ban is a farce ..i have a hand car wash with no restrictions strill using a karcher washer to wash the cars and no one is stopping them ..yet i cant use a minimal amount on my garden ..its a joke

Whether I ‘shopped’ a neighbour or not would very much depend on the neighbour. For example, I have lovely neighbours and I certainly would not shop them and neither would they report me, however, if they were horrid/busybody neighbours then I would.

It will be interesting to see if anybody behind reports me as I will be using my hosepipe to clean out the birds and hose down the areas where they run has been on the grass… Although I have applied for and received an exemption letter so I don’t even know if I would find out if I had been reported.

Stupid thing is, when I did use my hosepipe at the weekend, I felt really self conscious in case neighbours behind were watching/photographing/filming me thinking that I was just flouting the ban! It’s not nice to feel like that in your own back garden.

People should not be encouraged to snitch on their neighbours. There is little enough community spirit in this country without encouraging neighbours to be at war with eachother.

(I disagree with the ban anyway – we are not in a real drought (if in doubt, google ‘real’ drought or ask Africa)- we are in an area whose water company has mismanaged OUR money, not invested it properly for the future (ie now) and not properly fulfilled their obligation to supply us with water. Furthermore, I know that in some cases, using buckets uses more water than a hose!)

I don’t understand this ban, surely using my hose to wash my car would use less water. I used at least 8 buckets for water to rinse the car and most of that went over me. If I had been able to use my hose, I am sure I would have used less. I do underatnd you want to stop people leaving the hose on for hours to water the garden or lawn, so why can’t the fine be on this type of abuse.


i have 5 kids and 2 adults and we regularly share our bath water between two and dont feel the need to have a fresh bath for each of us because we bathe often and wash every day the only one who has his own bath water is the baby for obvious reasons we are not metered but if we were any penalties should be tied to the amount of occupants per household

My god, the hosepipe ban has come into effect because of the olympics. London residents have had letters sent to them asking them to reduce the amount of water used so that they had enough supply for the olympics. Myself I never wanted the olympics as I knew the effects it would have on our country, and the hosepipe ban is the start. This country is falling apart.

Depends I have neighbour no tv no radio she’s most of time at home alone but love gardening I would inform first bar reporting

Its the old adage “If I can’t do it why should he” So yes I would after all they would shop me.

Mind you the amount of rain we are having at the moment who needs a hose pipe, further more ban.

Yes, sure I’d shop them. And I will. They are fine upstanding law-abiding people, and don’t they make sure everyone knows about it. Then they lock their big gates and wash their cars where they think no-one can see. It is pointless talking to them about it as it will just be denied….unless there is evidence. Which of course there will be provided for the water company. Oh yes.

I would probably approach him in person first to remind him, but if he continued ignoring it I would report him. It really annoys me when people waste water anyway, leaving taps running, leaving hoses running, taking long showers. Maybe a fine would make them think more responsibly about all their water usage.

water should be metered and anyone exceeding their ration during a drought could be charged an excess per unit used above that level. Hosepipe bans are purely symbolic as they don’t limit the time you and your family spend in the shower for example. First though the leaks need to be fixed so we start off fair and square.

it would be more prudent to ban non hand held hosepuipes such as for sprinkler systems than an outright ban because you would still use the same amount of water to fill a pond paddling pool or water retention container by hose or bucket whereas the sprinklers are the ones that use the most water and water log the ground and what is to stop the unscrupulous from waiting till after nightfall to use their sprinklers whilst no-one can see them ?

We have a neighbour who uses his hosepipe continuously to flush his outboard motor attached to his boat in our cul de sac. How do you report this?

If a neighbour ‘shops’ you, could be a lie; ….some of us have neighbours who’d do this ! I hope photographic proof would be req’d and their word wouldn’t be taken automatically ?

Just thought if I bring my friend who is a blue badge holder to my house can I fill the paddling pool with a hose while she has a cup of tea???? Rofl

Nice one ‘Anon’..that’s the way to think..there’s more than one way to skin a cat as they say lol 🙂

No I would not, it’s going to take ages to fill our paddling pool with buckets but we will, I’m still spending half an hour in the shower, I pay for my water and my kids will still have water guns, water fights and paddling pools all summer I’ll just use buckets full of water from the outside tap without a hose, what a total waste of time shopping someone in. If all someone has to worry about is shopping someone for watering their plants or making hot kids happy they are very very sad individuals indeed!

What about people filling indoor swimming pools? Who knows whether they are being filled or not. And water pressure cleaners? I would certainly inform if if could be sure anyone was using either. Although the latter is a bit a of a giveaway due to the noise

So the water companies are making gazillions of profit, putting up charges and refusing to invest in finding a way to move water from Scotland and the Northwest where they have far too much of it, to the South East where they don’t have enough.

And now the government passes a law that enshrines their ability to do so.

These companies are commercial entities – not charities, they exist purely to make profit.

We shouldn’t allow this – if there’s enough water for the residents of Scottsdale Arizona which is in the centre of a desert, to wash cars and water lawns, there should be enough for those of us in the South East to do the same.

Why do we tolerate this?

John, the environmental effects of moving water across catchments are very large and can result in big damage to wildlife and plants. The cost implications are stunning, and YOU would have to pay.
The reason for the SE drought is that the SE is actually classed as `semi arid’ in terms of average rainfall and has one of the highest population densities in the world which is increasing. And we all want to use water without thinking, in such ridiculous ways as washing the patio! (Why?Use a broom for dust and dont drop rubbish in the first place).
Arizona has large ancient underground water resources which are being exploited at a high rate. They will completely run out of water fairly soon which will not be replaced until the climate totally alters there. We have relatively small amounts of `old’ water and try to use it sustainably so we dont run out.

Oh dear!

Yes there is an environmental impact in moving water but this can be lessened by utilising the canal system (including building new and restoring existing canals) and by laying pipelines along the routes of the main railway lines from North to South.

Indeed the thought occurs to me that all of the NIMBY’s protesting about the new High Speed2 railway might just be bought over by the fact that they would be getting guaranteed highland water not just for the garden but to drink.

And think of the poor drought affected wildlife and plants in the southern bits of this island. Long-term they would benefit and after the initial works are over the animals and plants affected by such projects would recover.

Will we be getting a refund from these people for not using water? Why should I pay for something I am unable to use as I please?

‘Peg’ now don’t be silly…no refund is due, they’ve already paid it to the fat cats as a bonus this year lol 🙁

Of course I would shop them. It is not fair on the majority of people who actually agree there is a water crisis for a few selfish idiots to flaunt the regulations. It’s precisely this cavalier attitude to the use of precious resources that got us into this position in the first place

I’m so pleased you’re not my neighbour…..but hang on, I recognize your face, is that you John??
Now come on, there’s not a water crisis…we have plenty of water, it’s just the way water companies would prefer to make big profit and pay massive bonuses to the top dogs but not invest it in the water systems! Please don’t blame the normal everyday person who pays the water bill in good faith then gets told he can’t use it…………
Anyway, enough bickering, pop round later for a cuppa….ohh, it will be made with water if that’s ok with you lol 🙂

We recently had a rear extension added and while the garden was being dug up (for a soakaway amongst other things) we had a 1950L rainwater harvester installed. It’s just a glorified water butt under the ground and water is pumped up from it. I was using it today to water newly laid turf but my neighbour said I could still be breaking the law. Is he right? He said someone was prosecuted for using a hosepipe to take water from the bath to water the garden. Is this correct?

Of course not, Tom. The water companies are attempting to control the use of the water that they supply. What you get off your roof is your supply. What you’ve already used once (for the bath) is also your supply.

As far as I know, no one’s yet been prosecuted for hose pipe use under the current ban.

I’d like to know what legal grounds the water companies have to prosecute in the first place. What would they say in court? What law is a hose-pipe user breaking, by using water that they have paid for the use of, on their own property?

How would u able to shop ,them if u did nt know what water company supplied thier water ?. They may well be with a company that has not imposed a hosepipe ban !.

First you would have to know if your neighbour is in fact commiting an offence. For example Blue Badge holders are exempt. I disagree with this, if the person is fit enough to take care if their garden why should they be exempt and In most cases the person actually using the hose at the home of a Blue Badge holder probably will not be the holder themselves!

Oh dear,

You started so well and then dropped into Daily Fail mode.

I am a Blue Badge holder. I have multiople disabilities but the most relevant to this topic is that in 1982 a great big bit of Argentinian metal punched it’s way through my pelvis, and since then I have had two strokes leaving me partially paralyzed on my right hand side.

Now I am quite capable of sitting or standing and plying a hosepipe to water my garden. I can’t carry a watering can back and forth because of the pain, stiffness and breathlessness.

Using a hose to water my garden does not give me an advantage over able-bodied people – it simply puts me into the same position as those who can use a watering can.

I do have friends who help me in the garden (mowing the lawn etc) but they most certainly will not be using the hose.

I think you will find that rather than some demon army of scroungers (which of course is how this government has been trying to portray disabled people) most disabled people are just as honest and scrupulous as the general population (and of course just as dishonest in some cases).

I really do find what amounts to jealousy of disabled people very amusing in a sick sort of a way. Without wishing you or any other able bodieed person harm it would be interesting to se your opinion if you became disabled.

As regards “shopping” a neighbour I rather think that as a Royal Navy veteran I would adopt the example of dear old Admiral Nelson and say “I see no hose”.

I’m confused, what hosepipe ban I live in the southeast and have not had anything through the post from our water company yet… Surely word of mouth can’t be legally binding.

Water companies need to publish an up-coming ban in two local papers and their website by law.

No. This is an independent website and we have no connection to water companies, or anyone else.

Why do you have a picture of a ‘real’ person, while we all have these silly disguises?? (Well not too silly, some of them are quite funny lol)

people who shop thier neighbours are another example of how society is falling appart, i wouldnt and those that do are small and petty people.

I certainly wouldn’t shop a neighbour. Thames Water loses a quarter of its water in leaks – we don’t use lots of water but I am annoyed that I can’t fill my pond. One of the points Thames Water says you can’t do. Obviously not caring about anything living in the pond! Typical.

did you read the FAQ before blerting out?

A few examples of what is acceptable under hosepipe ban water usage restrictions:
â– Topping up/changing water in ponds that contain fish or other species such as frogs, newts etc.
â– Cleaning of animals and their living quarters
â– Filling drinking troughs for animals

So it seems that lots of you will adhere to the hosepipe ban but will willingly let your neighbours get away with breaking the rules. I personally find that attitude very worrying. Where does it end? You see a neighbour vandalise someones property and you say nothing? You see a neighbour mug someone and you say nothing? We have all been asked to adhere to the rules as there has been no rain so why should we let a few selfish people get away with breaking the rules?

Dave…….Vandalisation?…… Mugging?
Calm down dear!

I’m certainly glad you’re not my neighbour. All you negative people on here, say hello and be kind to your neighbours instead of being miserable whingers and you may realise they are also nice decent human beings. Bored of hearing over reacting moaners on every site i go on.

Do me and anyone you may see using a hose a favour and have a word rather than getting on the phone and snitching as this is a deplorable and cowardly way of dealing with something you don’t agree with

I agree theres a major major difference between turning a blind eye to a mugging and someone watering a few dahlias, lmao.

I most certainly would NEVER shop a neighbour or anyone else for that matter. This is commonplace today and is a despicable way to act.

Please can you tell me who operates/owns

Are you affiliated with water companies in any way at all?

It is very important that the public know who is behind this site as you appear to be independent.

Are you?

Hi Fred

Good question and yes we are 100% independent. I should update our “About” page really as you are correct – the public should know. Thanks for the idea!

I have heard that the washing of private cars is not allowed but the washing of company cars is OK. True or False?
Also if you wash cars for a living does that mean you can wash your own car?

If so how will your neighbour (not always nextdoor) know what type of vehicle you have?

People also need to see it from this perspective: Is it moral to put your neighbours in a situation where they have to think “Should I shop them?”.

I have a horrible next door neighbour who locks my cat in his house. Would I shop him if I saw him using his hosepipe? Certainly.

Hi Jake,
It’s about time you and your neighbour got together and sorted whatever problem you have between yourselves….I always find having a water fight breaks down many barriers..Go on, it’s a great day, get your hose pipes out and have a ‘squirt’ at each other. Surely you can’t be fined a £1000 for having fun with the neighbours?? 😉

Just witnessed someone on my estate wash cars using a hosepipe. Totally selfish act. Where do I go to report this?


Back in Africa where water is scare and politician intelligence is even scarce!! They came up with a better solution to draught.

Install meter’s to every tom, dick and harriets house and charge everyone with how much they consume not just a flat rate.

What was the result: well conserving water became a direct relatiotional equation to the amount of money you had in your pocket at the end of the year, so automatically people started conserving water.

Here in the UK in order to get people to conserve water in simple ways like; turning off the tap when brushing their teeth, not taking baths that last 3 hours etc, you decide to bring in a hose pipe ban; Just another impractical regualtion and law.

My way around: Use a bucket to fill the pool for tommorows pool party!! (Yells to his 11 children: Get your buckets Kids!!! we are filling the pool). I will use a bucket to water the garden: which is actually more inefficient than using a hose pipe. And even worse use a bucket to wash the car.. hmmm just fill it and throw it over the car..

Not a smart solution is it!??

Don’t get me wrong i believe in conserving for the future generations, not just for draught reasons but because it is morally right to do so!! But this Hose pipe solution is Old and Stupid. Get a solution that will work. Like You Use 10 Litter of water in a year, You Pay for 10 Litters.. you use a 1000 litters you pay for 1000 litters..

Simple! (Like Sergate says in adverts)


I would not shop a neighbour as a matter of principle. I think it repulsive that organisations such as Southern Water should resort to the use of ‘blockwarts’ which is tactic that the erstwhile Gestapo relied upon. The South East has been a drought area for centuries. The fact that we are now short of water rests entirely with the water companies. Who have wilfully neglected to make provision to store water and to move it about the country to where it is needed.

Perhaps they should check those so called severely and permanently disabled blue badge holders who gleefully tell us that their plants will be cossetted, whereas ours will die.

I have a friend who is no less fit than me to water her garden with buckets or whatever. But she has wangled a blue badge for ‘ a bad hip’. Plenty of us have neck, back, foot problems that make it just as difficult to carry buckets

In order to be eligible for a blue parking badge, one shouldn’t be able to walk 100yards unaided without severe pain, discomfort or without undue breathlessness or heart strain.

By the way, one does not just ‘wangle’ themselves a blue badge, one earns one because one needs one!!!

I have been granted permission to use a hosepipe during the ban due to my disability, but I have no intention of doing so, I will water my plants using a watering can or not at all just like everyone else has to. I’d rather save my water for use watering crops etc…

And yes, in answer to the question posed….I would shop a neighbour for using a hosepipe..why should they use one when others are doing their best in this situation??

Last time we had a HP ban, one of our friends was caught by a police remote control helicopter who was filming and photographing people in their gardens!! He got a £1000 fine!! Ha Ha!!

Sorry, but there are very very many “wangled” Blue badges out there, issued to people who have not earned them nor do they deserve one. Also families with say 1 disabled child or one disabled member can quite rightfully be issued a blue badge but this doesn’t mean that the perfectly ablebodied parent/s, children, partners or siblings cannot quite easily use a watering can, but they are quite legally exempt from the ban. is this fair???

I couldnt care less what my neighbours do,I would hate if som1 ‘shopped’ me I would get my mandems on them, big man ting

The only sports grounds that would be allowed watering are Olympic ones
According the to telegraph. May not have a valid point there.

I completely agree, I bet the gardens of Balmoral are being regularly watered with sprinklers and hoses and this place residence is of no interest to anyone but the royals as people can’t visit there, it can’t be considered vital for sports or recreation, booooooo one rule for one and one for everyone else grrr.

Geography would seem to be your weak point Liz. Balmoral is in Scotland. There is no hose-pipe ban in Scotland. Indeed it is in the Grampian mountain range with lots of lochs and rivers.

Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North of England (all the hilly bits) have more than adequate supplies of water.

A question you might like to think about is given that the northern and western bits of our island have gallons of the stuff, and given that the dear old Romans had acqueduct technology to move it from A to B…why has no genius ever tried this across the UK.

Or even used the canal system to route water from the mountains into the reservoiurs in the South.

Of course that would mean the water companies actually spending from their obscene profits.

Neighbours are needed. . .although not always such great fun. . . .why burn bridges by shopping them in? What does one gain from this? Some strange one-upmanship or a sense of being a “do-gooder?” Live and let live. . .keep the peace with the neighbours, it will be far better than creating an adversial relationship.

My neighbour wastes tons of water and is always using a high pressure hose which is really unecessary and noisy. I will definately report him if he carries on after 5 April.

Do you realise that most high pressure hoses actually use less water than an open hose on the mains?

They have a pump on them sure, but the point behind it is to squeeze water though a small opening. You could fill a bucket with an open hose faster than you could with a pressure jet

Before anyone thinks of ‘shopping’ a neighbour one should establish that said neighbour is actually breaking the law. Some people have had the foresight to collect and store rainwater. They are therefore perfectly entitled to use a hose pipe connected to their rainwater storage vessel, with or without a jet washer, to water their garden or wash their vehicle, windows etc. This is even less wasteful than using mains water from buckets. Please check your local water supply company regulations before taking precipatative action.
In addition, one can obtain a reduction in the local council sewerage disposal charge (rainwater disposal element) by collecting all the run-off from the roof and storing it for such eventualities as now exists: some water companies (e.g. Veolia) now draw one’s attention to this in the literature sent with their water bills.

Yes I would. I have a neighbour who runs a window cleaning business from his home. He flushes his van’s tank through from about midnight to 5 am. Thousands of gallons wasted, and thats not counting the chemicals he is flushing into the syste. This happens 3 times a week.

Damn right I will shop him!

Sadly, Neil, your ‘shopping’ of him would do no good, since, absurdly, the hosepipe ban here in Sutton does not apply to those who clean windows or patios ‘for a living’ – so he will be able to continue flushing away thousands of gallons, whilst the rest of us will see our plants die or risk a fine. I have arthritis and cannot hold a watering can, but can manage a thin hose. But I am banned from using one. Appalling.


If you have arthritis and have a blue badge you are not banned from using a hosepipe. Blue badge holders are exempt from the ban.


In reply I would like to state my husband is a window cleaner and uses a system. You will find he isn’t washing his tank out every night. They refill their tanks with purified water every night for cleaning windows the next day.

I would definitely gets the facts before ‘shopping’ anyone and making yourself look foolish.

Well said Sarah…although it is fair to say there is a lot of ‘waste’ water when making ‘pure’ water..but then on the other hand your husband probably has to pay for it….

why should we not use a hosepipe when we are surrounded bye water and also these property develorpers who put in these storm drains wich run a way to the rivers and sea. why cant they run the water into a small resevouir and also put in water butts in every new build. they wont do that it will cost to much money,they ant got a clue but our waters bills dont go down for useing less water.

Hi Cannot Spell

From the Chambers dictionary: “slang to betray or inform on someone to the police, etc.”

Hope our use of slang doesn’t offend anyone!

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