What’s the latest on hosepipe bans?


In response to the extreme weather, water companies are introducing temporary use bans. Here’s the latest…

We’re going through a period of incredible hot weather. In England, July was the driest in more than a century – with only about 25 per cent of the expected rainfall recorded. This followed the driest winter and spring since the 1970s.  

As a result, and ahead of more high temperatures on the horizon, some local temporary use bans (TUBS) are being introduced across the UK.

The GCMA have been in regular discussions with BIGGA and England Golf and the latter have spoken directly to two water boards in question, who have clarified their restrictions as follows:

Hampshire & Isle of Wight – Southern Water: 

A TUB effective came into effect on Friday, August 5. They have followed the statutory exemption for golf courses meaning that, on health and safety grounds, sports turf used for recreation can be irrigated. This only applies to “in-play” areas which they define as greens, tees, and fairways only. 

They have requested golf clubs ‘be considerate’ with their water usage – e.g. avoiding peak times of 8-10am and 4-10pm, but there aren’t, as yet, any further restrictions.

Kent & Sussex – South East Water: 

A TUB became effective from Friday, August 12. They also say that on health & safety grounds “in-play” sports turf used for recreational purposes can be irrigated.

Again irrigation is only permitted on “in-play” areas which they define as greens, tees, and fairways only.

There are some time restrictions. Irrigation CAN NOT take place between 8-10am, and 5-9pm. South East Water are reviewing every five days to see if further restrictions are necessary.

Yorkshire Water are bringing in a hosepipe ban from August 26 and have specified that the following activities are prohibited:

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
  • Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe

They added: “Customers can still carry out these activities if they use water from a bucket or watering can; or use water that is not sourced from the mains such as grey water, rainwater from a water butt through a hosepipe, or private boreholes for example.”

South West Water has announced that a hosepipe ban came into effect from a minute after midnight on Tuesday, August 23. Householders in Cornwall and parts of north Devon will be unable to water gardens, fill pools, or wash cars using a hosepipe. It’s the first time in 26 years the company has taken such measures.

Elsewhere, Thames Water have announced plans to announce a TUB “in the coming weeks”. “Given the long term forecast of dry weather and another forecast of very hot temperatures coming this week we are planning to announce a temporary use ban in the coming weeks,” the company said.

Welsh Water have also announced a TUB after water resources in Pembrokeshire reached drought levels.

A company statement said: “While this does not pose an immediate risk to water supplies for the area, we are having to take steps to ensure enough water remains to continue supplying customers and to protect the local environment.

“From 08.00am on 19th August, a Temporary Use Ban (TUB), more commonly known as a ‘hosepipe ban’, will come into force for customers in Pembrokeshire and a small adjoining part of Carmarthenshire. This will mean that if you have your water supplied by us in this area then you will not be able to use a hosepipe to carry out activities in and around your property such as watering plants or filling paddling pools or hot tubs.

“The Temporary Use Ban will remain in place until we have had enough rain to replenish our water resources.”

These restrictions and requests are all subject to change and golf clubs should continuously monitor Water Board websites for up-to-date information. 

Golf clubs also have been asked by the Water Boards to be considerate with water use and only use what is necessary to keep the plant alive, in areas of play that could be deemed a health and safety risk if left un-watered.

The governing bodies will continue to work together to monitor the situation and we will update this story if any further restrictions apply.

For more information visit Southern Water, South East Water and Welsh Water.

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By GCMA Content Team

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