Hosepipe bans are in force in a number of areas across the country, and whilst we all know it could affect our homes, the question is, can it affect small businesses?
Following the driest July in England since 1935, hosepipe bans have come in effect in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight Kent, Sussex, and Pembrokeshire as water companies try to manage supplies – with more hot weather predicted.
Small business owners may be wondering how the hosepipe ban will impact their business. Read on to find out more about the regulations, hosepipe ban areas, and if the temporary ban includes commercial use.
When is the hosepipe ban?
The first hosepipe ban came in on 5th August for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. With South East Water extending the ban to parts of Sussex and Kent on 12th August.
Meanwhile, Wales is bringing in a hosepipe ban for Pembrokeshire from 19th August.
Thames Water said that they would be bringing in a temporary ban “in the coming weeks,” but an exact date is yet to be announced.
Is my business exempt from the hosepipe ban?
The temporary restrictions stop people from using a hosepipe to water gardens and plants, clean cars, wash windows, and fill paddling pools.
Not following the rules can lead to a fine of up to £1,000.
The hosepipe ban only applies to domestic use, so businesses using water for commercial reasons are exempt from the restrictions.
If you use a hosepipe as part of your business services to customers then you’re still allowed to use it, even during the temporary use ban.
Hosepipe ban exemptions
You can use a hosepipe if you’re:
- watering a garden or land that’s used by a business for growing any crops, fruits, vegetables, or other plants for sale or commercial use
- providing cleaning as a service to customers, including cleaning private leisure boats, windows, paths, and patios
- washing taxis, goods vehicles, or commercial vehicles
- filling or maintaining a water fountain if it’s used for recognised religious practices
- filling or maintaining a domestic pond when it’s for the welfare of the fish or aquatic animals in the pond
- cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces – if it’s part of a service to customers
‘Not restricting essential use’
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Environment Minister George Eustice said: “While this government is taking action to improve the resilience of our water supply, it is important to note that we can all do our part to use water wisely and to responsibly manage this precious resource.
“Saving water is about reducing unnecessary consumption, not restricting essential use. There are lots of actions you can take to save water at home and in the garden. Installing a water-saving device in your toilet cistern or checking your household appliances for leaks can save huge amounts of water.”
“The onus must be on water companies to do more to reduce leakage, building on progress made in recent years,” he added.
Is there a hosepipe ban in my area?
The hosepipe ban is enforced differently across the country, and the rules and restrictions can vary. If you’re not sure about anything then it’s best to contact your water company.
You can use a postcode checker to see how your area is affected:
Thames Valley, South West Water, and Yorkshire Water may be next as the Met Office warns another hot spell is on the horizon.