As the UK has been basking in a heatwave, the met office has reported record breaking temperatures have consistently reached above 28°C and rainfall has all but stopped. However, due to unprecedented heat coupled with lack of rain looks like 2018 could be the driest year since records began in 1961.
The consequences of this unusually dry weather has without a doubt taken its toll on the water supply and left most of the UK in a severe drought.
Martin Padley – Water Services Director of United Utilities had this to say in an official statement: "Despite some recent rainfall, reservoir levels are still lower than we would expect at this time of year and, with forecasters predicting a return to hot dry weather for the rest of July, we are now at a point where we will need to impose some temporary restrictions on customers.”
According to United Utilities’ figures, one hosepipe uses approximately 540 litres of water per hour. This is as much as an average family of four will use in one entire day. In a recent recording, you can see the shocking statistics of how the current water levels compare to the same time last year.
Your water company would have been in touch with you via text or email if you are due to be affected. If you are unsure weather your area will be subject to the ban, visit the website of your water provider. According to United Utilities, the hosepipe ban is in effect in the North West of England and covers the following counties:
- Greater Manchester
- Parts of North Derbyshire & Staffordshire
What happens if you break the hosepipe ban?
The law is very strict when it comes to what you can and cannot do and the punishment for breaking a hosepipe ban can be a severe fine. Those who are caught breaking the rules can be fined up to £1000 in a criminal court for the offence. The law states using a hosepipe for personal or domestic use is outlawed. This includes using a hosepipe to water the garden, clean a car or filling a pool.
Are they any exceptions to the hosepipe ban?
There are several exceptions to the hosepipe ban that you should be aware of:
If you have recently purchased turf for your garden, you can still use a hosepipe to water the lawn for 28 days from the purchase date. This exemption is to ensure that new turf can survive after harvest & transportation and allow it to establish fully into its new environment.
A hosepipe ban is always bad news for keen gardeners however you can still water your plants in the garden with the use of a watering can. Just ensure that you fill up in the kitchen sink, so you can help keep your garden green and healthy during the hot weather.
Recycled bath water (known as grey water) is perfectly acceptable to be recycled for domestic use. This also includes water butts.
When will the hosepipe ban end?
It is not certain for how long the ban will be enforced, this entirely depends on the upcoming weather and how the water levels in the reservoirs can handle the demand for more water.
Despite parts of the country effected by a storm over the 28-29 July, which provided the first heavy rainfall for many weeks, the hosepipe ban will go ahead as planned. United Utilities has confirmed that the water levels in the reservoir are still too low for this time of year and the demand is still too high to cope, despite encouraging its customers to conserve water wherever possible.
This article was developed by Lewis at Online Turf. As a turf provider we have seen several hosepipe bans enforced in our time and are happy to share our knowledge to help gardening enthusiasts get the most out of their plot despite the tough conditions without breaking the law.