As this summer continues to produce hot & sunny weather inevitably, despite the wet spring, the possibility of hosepipe bans come to the fore. Indeed, one has already been introduced in Northern Ireland the first since 1955 and was imposed on 29th June. In addition, United Utilities, which serves seven million people in the North West, say they will have “no choice” but to enforce a hosepipe ban if water demand does not drop in the coming days. Other water companies are monitoring the situation closely and may also impose a hosepipe ban in the coming weeks. How will a hosepipe ban affect golf clubs? This has been a common question fielded by The Helpdesk this week and essentially, it won’t as they DO NOT apply to commercial properties such as golf courses. Hosepipe Bans or officially “temporary use bans” (TUBs) are measures Authorised by the Flood and Water Act in 2010, this replaced the 'hosepipe ban' and restricts the use of the local water by banning certain non-essential uses. The TUB mechanism avoids the need for companies to rely on drought orders and enables them to take early action to conserve water during a drought. If the water company does introduce a TUB then you can visit http://www.hosepipeban.org.uk/ to find out the specifics for your area. For instance, Northern Ireland Water has prohibited the following activities during their TUB/Hosepipe Ban: - Watering a garden using a hosepipe; Watering outdoor plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe; Drawing water, using a hosepipe for domestic recreational use; Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool using a hosepipe; Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe; Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe; Cleaning a private motor vehicle using a hosepipe; Cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises using a hosepipe; Cleaning paths or patios of domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe. If water supplies do get really low, then the water companies can apply for a Drought Order. This legislation enables Water Companies to ban the use of MAINS water for commercial use such as sports grounds, golf courses, etc. It should be noted that other water sources such as boreholes, lakes, streams, etc are NOT affected by this ban. These water sources are owned by the Environment Agency, not the water companies, therefore provided the abstraction license allows it, and the Environment Agency does not bring in any restrictions, then these water sources are unaffected. A drought order allows a water company to impose restrictions on non-essential use by public and private sector organisations. The order can only be granted by the Secretary of State, or the Welsh ministers, usually via a public inquiry. In extreme or exceptional circumstances an emergency drought order can be granted to protect the economic or social well-being of persons in the local area. Drought orders are valid for up to 6 months and can be extended for a further 6 months. Emergency drought orders are...
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