A hosepipe ban covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has been announced as water companies look to manage reserves amid the continued heat.

The restrictions will apply to all Southern Water supply areas and will come into place from Friday, August 5 at 5pm. There is currently no indication of when it will end.

During the ban, the use of a hosepipe, including using sprinklers, dripper hoses, automatic irrigation systems and similar devices, is prohibited for the following:

  • 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

Residents will still be able to carry out any of the listed activities if they use mains water from a bucket or watering can. Any water not sourced from the mains - such as rainwater from a water butt - is also fine to use. Anyone who breaks the prohibitions could be hit with a fine of up to £1,000.

Nowhere in England is currently considered to be 'in drought', most of the country has instead moved into ‘prolonged dry weather’ status.

The Environment Agency has said it is now taking "precautionary actions to mitigate impacts as hydrological conditions deteriorate and enhancing its monitoring and protection of water resources, along with the water companies".

Several exceptions apply for people using their hoses to water plants for commercial sale or use, or for health and safety reasons.

Southern Water says the extremely hot weather and reduced rainfall alongside increased demand has left the water levels significantly lower.

This will be the first time a TUB has been seen in our region since 2012.  

Dr Alison Hoyle, Director of Risk & Compliance at Southern Water, said: “We haven’t taken this decision lightly and we know the Temporary Use Ban will have an impact on our customers. We’re working with the Environment Agency to ensure that we act responsibly to protect our environment. We’re asking everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to do their bit by supporting these measures and only use the water that they need.  

“We’re experiencing one of the driest years on record for over a century and we’ve seen record temperatures. River flows are approximately 25% lower than they should be for July, which is equivalent to losing more than 25 million bathtubs of water. We're asking our customers to help protect our rivers and the habitats that live there by cutting back their water use. We believe a Temporary Use Ban is a responsible and vital step to reducing the amount of water being taken from the Rivers Test and Itchen.”   

Under the terms of this measure, using hosepipes to water gardens or clean cars will no longer be permitted and ornamental ponds and swimming pools must not be filled.

One customer, Christopher Sharratt, of South Wonston, said: "I have an automated watering system for my flower baskets and borders, which I shall have to turn off, but I have read that I can still use watering cans if I want to."

To see more about the ban, visit: southernwater.co.uk/our-story/water-resources-planning/

READ MORE: Hampshire hosepipe ban: 5 ways to save water

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