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Hosepipe Ban To Be Lifted Earlier Than Planned

At the beginning of April – after a very dry March and two unusually dry winters – water restrictions were put in place by seven water companies. At that time the water companies and governing bodies were warning of hosepipe bans being in place at least until Christmas. They also suggested this would be the case no matter how much rain we had this summer.

April was the wettest for over a hundred years and May wasn’t much dryer, leading to the replenishing of rivers, reservoirs and apparently much of the crucial groundwater stock. All this has lead to a u-turn by the water companies who are now expecting to lift the ban before the end of the summer.

Interestingly this coincides with reports this week that water companies and the Environment Agency have been under intense pressure to end the ban.

A source said to be involved in talks between officials and water companies told the Daily Mail: “Defra is putting intense pressure on the industry to drop the hosepipe ban. The real pressure comes from a desire to avoid any embarrassment when the world’s media arrive for the Olympics. There is a worry that this decision is being driven by politics rather than the reality of water supplies and the state of rivers. Thames and Anglian would drop the hosepipe bans completely, while some parts of Southern Water may need to maintain controls.”

Does this therefore suggest unseen groundwater stock might not have really risen as much as the Environment Agency and water companies are saying? Of course the general public has no real way of knowing the answer to this.

We’re pleased to hear the hosepipe ban may be coming to an end but we’re also very worried it may be ended too soon, simply because the government doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the world’s media when the Olympics begin. If it does end soon, let’s hope it’s not reinstated this year, perhaps a few weeks after all the Olympians have gone home. We should also remember that it was estimated water consumption would rise by about 10% during the Olympics.

45 replies on “Hosepipe Ban To Be Lifted Earlier Than Planned”

I think that if the water is as bad as they say we should cancel the olympic games as these games will bring thousands of people into the south and southeast all drinking and using our water, come on get your act together,


Dear Mr Hose

May I use a hosepipe to pump the floods out of my house that have been caused by the record breaking continuous torrential rain over the past 3 months during this worrying drought?

I see nothing in the rules that says you can’t use a hosepipe to remove flood water 😉

Year after year after year after year we hear the same thing from the water companies HOSE PIPE BAN!!!. Mrs M Thather sold off the water and put in place greedy people of the establishment and their families who get paid an enormous amount of money who do nothing to preserve the water stocks or repair burst pipes pronto, nothing but price increases, this they do rather effectively without fail. They only know 2 solutions, hose pipe bans denying us what we pay for and increase in water bills for their pay rises. There is NO water regulator, this annual mess would have been sorted many years ago if there was. We are an island. desalination stations could have been built along the coast to service coastal areas and the lakes service inner land communities. Is that too hard to do? or even think of? WHAT do these people do to justify their positions and pay?

I think that the hosepipe ban should be lifted for the people with allotments in the kent area, have you tried watering a plot with a watering can?

I’m confused, can I water my plants tonight or not – I think we are Thames Water – so is the ban lifted or not?

If Veolia is not providing the service which it has been paid for and if it is not possible to use other providers does this not violate consumers legal rights? It seems to me that someone out there must be able to provide sufficient information to allow consumers to mount a legal campaign to bring about the necessary change. Veolia is not providing the service for which it has been paid so where is the discounted bill? It is abundantly clear that Veolia’s profits come well before the customers service and that investment in its infrastructure to allow the maintenance of adequate supplies is a woeful shortcoming.

There is nothing environmentally unsound about using as much water as you like as it is totally recyclable. The problem is with the water companies who collect the water in a inefficient way and don’t seem to want to do anything about it sometimes draining rivers and causing ecological damage. 40 years ago I said that we would need more reservoires but there has been zero investment. In other countries rain water is not just sent into rivers and out to see it is harnessed. I was in a village on the edge of the Sahara in August and they were washing their cars with hose pipes! Unfortunately our water companies get their money from us regardless of the quality of service provided.

the hosepipe ban should not really affect anybody . just draw all your water from the pot holes on our roads , more than enough of them to go round .

Why does this discussion page use dates in the archaic American format (month,day,year)? Surely in Britain we’ve moved on from the 1930s style!

Now that all the major companies are lifting bans this week, I find myself in the small minority served by small south-east water companies that are sticking resolutely to the hosepipe ban. My company’s own published monthly rainfall figures plus the cumulative rainfall for this month so far show that rainfall is now well above average for the first half of 2012 with two weeks to go, following a wet December in 2011. The fact is that rainfall in this country is unpredictable but there is no drought. Comparisons have been made with the 1970s but short term and medium term rainfall have been far higher than the genuine drought through most of the 70s and the extreme conditions in 76. Excuses about groundwater are just that, excuses. Over extraction of groundwater must be a major factor in its current low level and the current situation simply highlights the lack of robustness in the system. Clearly there isn’t enough storage. House building in the south east must be creating large revenue increases for the water companies. Where is the money going? The regulator is keeping very quiet. The wake up call for the water companies would be having to compensate customers for not supplying the service when there is no good reason for their inability to do so.

For the last 3 years at least, the department of Var in Southern France has operated a hose pipe ban. Var is one of the departments through which the massive Rhone river runs, flooding the land in the Spring. Next door, the department of Alpes Maritime has plenty.

So it is not true to say that our water companies are negligent or deficient. Other countries have the same challenges

I also recall several occasions when there has been a drought condition in Northern California – they even stopped serving ice chilled water in restuarants to save supplies.

Keep moaning, but keep things in perspective.

It will be more embarrasing when the Olymic visitors see how the locals look. I currently have elongated arms from carring watering cans. Whilst it has been raining my hanging baskets still need watering. If we were having a long hot sultry summer (oh I wish) I could understand the hosepipe ban but it has rained eversince they imposed the ban.
Come on Veolia other companies are lifting the ban. It would be great to see an announcement from you

They have closed 6 reservoir and built more houses on the land, they then wonder why there’s not enough water to meet demand. More homes + leaks – reservoirs.= ground water being taken and drought. force them to spend profits on reservoirs and not just line their pockets

What about the two million gallons of water lost at Stratford and the massive hassle had on central line. I understand these things could happen, but I hear this was pure negligence.

I think the whole hosepipe ban idea is a joke, especially in the UK. I mean, all of this rainy weather we get is A LOT compared to some other countries – Do thy complain about an imaginary ‘lack of water’ even though they’re the ones who are really suffering from a drought? No, I don’t think so! Even if we WERE to have a drought, there are still rivers, lakes and even huge lochs in Scotlan that could be used for water if needs be (it can take an hour to drive along one of the many Scottish lochs, so don’t tell me that the loch will run out/disappear!). I think the whole thing is ridiculous; We won’t run out of water, it’s just an excuse to create news and a moral panic (if nothing else). Besides, if you class this as a ‘drought’, then this is the wettest drought I’ve ever seen!

It,s 3 weeks since we have had a pond re done in our garden, we had it made lower so we would use less water .we also have 5 water butts “all over flowing “so we don’t have to use water from the mains to water our crop’s. The garden is water logged so much so we have water coming out of a retaining wall AND STILL WE CAN’T USE THE HOSEPIPE TO FILL THE FISH POND.

Marion, why would you need a hosepipe to fill your pond? – I would have thought that if your garden is waterlogged that would have filled tour pond up!

It is filling up but not enough for fish and plants to be put in ,the pump is not covered so we can’t turn it on so every so often we have to take the green water out and start again.

Honestly, i’ve never seen something so ridiculous as to this hosepipe ban, so much water (this is england). Come on sort it out and lift it SE Water or do we still need another 5 mounths of rain in the next month, and more flooding?? Joke.

What bugs me is that it takes no account of how many family members in the house and other water usage for the household.
For example, we have empty bedrooms in our house. If we happened to have 1 or 2 more children, or a weekend guest, they would be allowed to have a bath etc without issue over water usage, so as it stands we are using less water than the ‘potential’ usage from our house if it were full-up. Yet, if I were to use the hose to wash my mountain bike after a muddy ride …. not allowed.
This would use less than an additional person in my house having a bath – hence is rather frustrating !!

There seems to be plenty of water. Just an inability to collect and store it. I have both a well and a natural spring on my property – I have never known the local water table to be so high as it is at present. The current position of floods and water restrictions at the same time is both unbelievable and untenable.

we are being rained on daily with events being washed out. Some rivers are on flood warnings but we face thousands in fines if we water crops in greenhouses etc! I ask you, where is the logic in this. we are told to save money and grow our own food if we can, but we can not water them though, its a joke!

Nr. Heathrow many local roads in my area have flooding today BBC news reporting wettest June in years. My American cousin just visited and fell about laughing because I cant use the hosepipe.

I think the ban is still in action in our village even though we have had loads of rain, as we now have water running out of a broken mains cover going to waste, I presume you will not mind is I use my hose pipe…!!!!

you dont here other countrys on a hose pipeban. instead of our govenment bailing other countrys out of a muddle they need to sort this one out first so we can enjoy the summer when we can fill our own pools water our gardens with out being told what we can do

Surely, the world’s media already know, we have hosepipe ban and are going to lifted just because of Olympics. Just keep it on as long as needed and show the world’s media that we do care about the eviroment

That reply borders on arrogance, perhaps you should be reminded, in spite of your plc status, that you remain a public service provider. It is not as though the consumer has an opportunity to switch, however I remain in hope that we see a degree of competition introduced at some point ijn the future and those that fail to perform go out of business like any other. That other companies see the sense in lifting the ban one might have expected a degree more positivity.

I should point out this is an independent website reporting on the hosepipe ban. We are not affiliated with any water company or government body. My answer was an honest one based on what we knew at the time.

Why would a hosepipe ban be embarrassing during the olypmics? Are visitors bringing their flowerbeds with them?

Very difficult to see through all the spin these days. You’ve got water companies, the evironment agency, defra and the government all looking after their own interests and trying to spin it to their best advantage. We the consumer are left to take whatever they tell us.

I think the lousy weather has depressed demand sufficiently for water companies to make it through to Winter with what they’ve got.

If they don’t learn from this and make changes to secure future supplies, then they should all be strung up.

I think the ongoing hosepipe restrictions are a disgrace. Living in east kent most of us realise that a new reservoir ( planned but never built at sturry!) has been needed for the past ten years to cope with the new homes being planned in the area. Hosepipe bans and compulsory water meters will not solve the water companies lack of investment and planning.

Right on Dave. And where is the water going to come from for all these thousands of “compulsory” new homes being built across the region, let alone the others!

Do The water company Leaders actually answer to anyone?
Amid ” a Months rainfall in 24 hours”, “Flood warnings throughout” we still are banned from using a power washer to clean paths/decking etc.
Get a grip guys!

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