With the Hosepipe Ban coming into effect this August, millions of North West homes will be unable to use their hosepipes or sprinklers to water private gardens. Bans like these, sometimes known as Temporary Bans, come into effect so that companies, such as United Utilities, can ringfence certain amounts of supply for longer.
Everything you need to know about the North West Hosepipe Ban
Despite recent rainfall in the past week, United Utilities has decided to bring in a hosepipe ban to their customers in the North West of England. The ban will take place from August 5th at 8 am onwards until residents are notified otherwise. Martin Padley, the Water Services Director, discussed the ban, stating that the temporary restrictions have not been done so lightly and that the company is grateful for those willing to reduce the water demand at this time.
What is prohibited during a Hosepipe Ban
- Watering private gardens via a hosepipe
- Filling domestic ponds with a hosepipe
- Filling fountains with hosepipes
- Cleaning decking, outdoor surfaces, cars and patios via a hosepipe
- Watering plants with a hosepipe
If you would still like to do the things noted above, you can still do so, however, you will need to use mains supplied water from your indoor taps, and fill buckets or watering cans. The definition of hosepipe is anything created to provide an outdoor water source, so, for example, sprinklers would be included in this definition.
Who is Exempt from the Hosepipe Ban?
If you carry a blue badge or care for someone who has a blue badge, you may be exempt from the upcoming hosepipe ban. To find out more about blue badge exceptions, read the “Discretionary Universal Exceptions” list from the United Utilities legislation PDF. You do not have to apply to be exempt from these hosepipe activities if you are a blue badge holder.
Other exceptions of the hosepipe ban in the Northwest of England include residents of Carlisle and the Northern Eden Valley. Supplies in these regions are still at an acceptable level, and residents here are not included within the ban at this moment in time.
What exactly is a Hosepipe Ban?
A hosepipe can use up to 600 litres of water an hour, with sprinklers using even more so if left overnight to water plants. Reducing the usage of these products can save up to 10% of water supplies for water companies. In the north-west, United Utilities could save around 100 million litres a day.
If everyone adheres to the hosepipe ban next month, United Utilities could save up to 7 billion litres of water within one week. This will extend supply, and bring back their overall water supply back to a normal level. Since the heat wave, the company will have lost supplies, and will be unable to meet demand should hosepipe use continue.
In 2012, the use of the term hosepipe ban was changed, so that companies must call them Temporary Use Bans, or tubs for short. This is to ensure that all use of outside water pumps, hosepipes, sprinkles, water slides, pools, and anything else can all fall under one term, meaning nothing is exempt. Although researchers have found that less than 20% of househoulds in the UK use outdoor water pumps, an hour of use can use upwards of 1000 litres. Putting a ban on this use is thought to be an easy way of conserving water for future use.
What Happens if you don’t follow the Hosepipe Ban
If you are found or have been reported to have broken the hosepipe ban, you could face fines of up to £1000. This is set by United Utilities, who have the power under the Flood and Water Management Act of 2010 to prosecute individuals. If you think that you are exempt from the hosepipe ban, you can fill out this contact form and or contact United Utilities directly.
Other Ways you can Save Water
Although the ban doesn’t start until August 5th this year, you can restrict your use now if you wanted to. You can also save water in other ways. If you’re a United Utilities Customer, you can check out their free water saving products, such as a shower regulator, toothy timers for kids when brushing their teeth, or you can order a water butt, which collects rain water over time which can then be used for watering the garden. Other ways you can save water include:
- Cutting down on shower time – 4 minutes is recommended
- Turning offf the tap between brushes when brushing your teeth
- Boil enough water for the brews you’re making, not a whole kettle
- Fill the sink when washing dishes, or use a washing up bowl. Using running water when washing dishes can use up to 50 litres of water every single day.