Hosepipe ban: the do's and do not's
By Raviliouse | Wednesday, April 04, 2012, 10:23
It is less than 24 hours until the hosepipe ban comes into effect in Hailsham and the surrounding region, aimed at combating an increasing drought following what have been two abnormally dry winters.
The decision to re-introduce a ban followed the announcement in February by Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary, that the south east of England, as well as parts of the East Midlands and eastern England, are all officially in drought.
One of South East Water's key reservoirs at Ardingly, West Sussex, is still only at 50 per cent capacity (and dropping), while at Bewl Reservoir, in Kent, water, is around 48 per cent capacity.
There is some confusion as to what is allowed and not allowed whilst the ban is in place, as noted by Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, who commented:"'I am dismayed by the uncertainty which has been created about who is eligible for help and who is not and where the bans are.
"It is imperative that South East and Southern Water make the situation clear to my constituents."
Watering gardens/plants/allotments/cars/patios/boats with a hosepipe or sprinkler
Filling ponds/ swimming pools*/paddling pools*/fountains with a hosepipe.
Drip, or trickle, irrigation systems, watering with watering cans etc.
Using a hosepipe to clean a private motor vehicle, private leisure boat or walls and windows of domestic premises, where this is done as a service to customers in the course of a business;
There are, however some exemptions, those with severe mobility problems (such as Blue Badge holders) will be allowed to use hosepipes under South East Water, and those in the Southern Water region with the same problems will be allowed to use them for watering plants.
South East had proposed that those over 65 years of age, would be exempt from the ban but that plan was withdrawn after consultation.
Both Southern and South East also have some handy tips for conserving water in these barren times, they are worth reading (and implementing), for as Rose Timlett, Freshwater Manager at WWF UK said:"Rivers are running dry or getting too low, which can have devastating effects on wildlife such as trout, salmon and water voles.
"All the water we use comes from rivers and the natural environment, so anything we can do to reduce the water we take will lessen the impact on wildlife. It's so important for us all to make the most of every last drop and help our rivers through this drought."