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Yorkshire Water announces hosepipe ban

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Yorkshire Water confirms it will bring in a hosepipe ban from Friday 26 August, nearly three decades after the last one was introduced.

The water firm serving five million customers said the ban comes as parts of Yorkshire have seen the lowest rainfall since records began more than 130 years ago.

It added that the hot, dry, weather means Yorkshire’s rivers are running low, with reservoirs around 20% lower than it would expect for this time of year.

While it has been “doing everything to avoid putting in restrictions”, the “trigger point” as part of Yorkshire Water’s drought planning has now been reached.

It is the first time since 1995/96 that a hosepipe ban has been brought in, and as such, customers will no longer be able to carry out the following from 26 August:

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning vehicles or boats using a hosepipe
  • Watering plants with a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
  • 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.

Households can still undertake these activities if they use tap water from a bucket or watering can; or use water that is not sourced from taps such as grey water, rainwater from a water butt, or a private borehole, for example.

Blue badge holders, those on Yorkshire Water’s Priority Services register or a WaterSure tariff for medical reasons, are excluded from the ban, however.

And the region’s 140,000 businesses will be allowed to use a hosepipe if it’s directly related to a commercial purpose. Yorkshire Water said there are restrictions on using a hosepipe if not for “essential commercial needs” – so using a hosepipe to clean a path outside a business property, for example, would not be allowed.

Yorkshire Water’s director of water, Neil Dewis, said: “We’ve been working hard in the background to balance our water stocks through our region-wide grid system and reduce water lost from leaky pipes.

“We’ve been monitoring reservoir levels, weather forecasts and other environmental indicators closely to determine whether we might need to put further measures in place.

“As we’ve now reached that trigger point, we need to make sure that we have enough supply for the essential needs of people across the region this year and next, as well as making sure we’re able to protect our local environment by limiting the amount of water we have to draw from the rivers.

“Our decision to introduce a hosepipe ban is based on the risk that water stocks continue to fall in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long-term river health.”

Dewis added that having a hosepipe ban in place also it to apply for drought permits from the Environment Agency, which means it can abstract more water from rivers and reduce flows out of reservoirs “so that we can continue to provide the water our customers rely on us for.”

Under The Water Industry Act 1991, firms have the powers to fine customers up to £1,000 if they ignore a hosepipe ban.

It comes as South East Water’s 1.4 million customers in Kent and Sussex are banned from using a hosepipe from today, while households in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight under Southern Water faced restrictions from 5 August. Thames Water is set to announce a hosepipe ban in the coming weeks.


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