What can’t I use during the ban?
A ban means that you cannot use your hosepipe and extends to the use of similar apparatus, such as sprinklers and more sophisticated irrigations systems. A temporary ban will cover one or more of the activities listed below:
- Watering of a garden with a hosepipe;
- Cleaning of a car using your hosepipe;
- Watering your plants at home using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning your boat using a hosepipe;
- Filling your home swimming or paddling pool;
- Drawing of water from a river using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use;
- Filling or maintenance of your pond using a hosepipe;
- Filling or maintenance of an ornamental fountain;
- Cleaning of walls, or windows using a hosepipe;
- Clearing of paths or patios using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning of other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.
A water authority is free to make exceptions to the ban, for example imposing a ban on such activities during certain times of the day or banning certain classes of people from carrying out such activities.
Parliament has the power to make further legislation containing exceptions and the Secretary of State has the power to add non-domestic purposes to the list and may do so if drought becomes more common as a result of climate change. The Secretary of State also has the power to remove one of the purposes currently listed from the list.
A water authority wanting to make a temporary ban is required to give notice in at least two newspapers circulating in the area and post it on their website. The notice must explain how people can submit representations in relation to the proposed temporary ban. If valid representations are made then the water authority may be persuaded to grant exemptions.
The water authority is also required to specify the date from which the ban is to apply and specify the area to which it applies. A hosepipe ban will last until the water authority revokes it.
The Act does not define what is meant by ‘temporary’ and, therefore, a ban could last for a considerable length of time. A water authority may, however, vary the terms of a temporary ban and revoke it by again giving notice of the proposed revocation of ban in at least two newspapers circulating in the area and again on its website.
The temporary ban is only treated as having been validly revoked once one of these methods of notice has been given.