While citizens of the UK enjoyed one of the hottest summers on record our water stores suffered because of the lack of rain. What it has meant is that water companies throughout the UK have imposed a hosepipe ban in an effort to conserve the water we have.
What is a hosepipe ban?
Quite simply, it is as the name suggests, a ban on using a hosepipe. So, people who normally use hosepipes to water their gardens, wash the car or clean the patio. The general message sent out is ‘be careful how you use water, it’s in short supply.’
Why was a hosepipe ban put in place?
Water companies ban the use of hosepipes when the demand for water is high (during a hot summer for example) but the supply is low. A hosepipe ban can be put in place by any organisation responsible for the supply of water in the UK.
This summer we saw unprecedented levels of dry weather which meant that the UK’s reservoirs weren’t at their usual levels due to the lack of rain.
Different regions have different companies managing their water and so it might be that one region has a hosepipe ban while another doesn’t.
When water is in short supply the non-essential use of water is restricted.
Is the hosepipe ban still in place?
Yes. There are regions of the UK with a hosepipe ban still in place. They include:
- North West Devon
* As of 19th Decemer 2022.
Why is a hosepipe ban still in place?
The hosepipe ban affected a large part of the UK and was in place for many regions up until just last month. The ban remains in place until reservoirs are replenished to pre-drought levels, which in Cornwall and North West Devon still haven’t been reached.
What can happen if you break the ban?
The ban is a legal restriction so if you are caught using a hosepipe then you might face a fine of up to £1,000. If you are lucky enough to avoid a fine, you are likely to get a visit from the water company in your area. They will outline the importance of saving water and explain why using less water is necessary.
How else can I save water?
There are easy ways to save water at home. Ofwat are the UK water regulators, and they suggest the following tips:
- Use a bowl to wash fruit and vegetables instead of running the tap
- Fill a jug of water and put it into the fridge for when you want a glass of water
- Don’t leave the tap running when you clean your teeth or have a shave
- Shower instead of taking a bath
- Only use washing machines and dishwashers when you have a full load
- Water the garden using a watering can and use a bucket and sponge to wash the car
- Install a water butt in the garden to collect rainwater. An average water butt collects around 200 litres of water which you can use to water the garden.
- Make sure any leaks you find at home are fixed
As you can see these tips are easy to apply at home and will help to save water all year round.