Yorkshire Water hosepipe ban: How much could I be fined for filling my paddling pool?

Most people are banned from using a hosepipe at home. Credit: PA

Yorkshire Water has announced its first hosepipe ban for 27 years. The rules come into force at midnight on 26 August and will affect around five million customers.

It comes after the county saw its lowest rainfall levels since records began more than 130 years ago and amid a third heatwave of the summer for parts of the region.

The company says rivers are running low and reservoir levels are around 20% lower than normal.

A hosepipe ban means Yorkshire Water can apply for drought permits from the Environment Agency, allowing it to take more water from rivers and reduce flows out of reservoirs.

What does a hosepipe ban mean?

The rules prohibit using a hosepipe for the following:

  • Watering a garden (including parks, public gardens, grass used for sport and non-commercial allotments)

  • Cleaning vehicles or boats

  • Watering plants

  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool

  • Drawing water for domestic recreational use

  • Cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises

  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe

  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces

The above activities can still be carried out using mains water from a bucket our watering can and a hosepipe can be used for water not sourced from the mains, including water butts.

What can you use a hosepipe for?

There are exceptions which mean you can use a hosepipe:

  • For health and safety reasons, including: preventing risks to humans and animals, preventing or controlling the spread of disease, removing the risk to property

  • Watering plants for sale or commercial use or that are part of a National Plant Collection or temporary display

  • Cleaning parts of a leisure boat enclosed by a roof and walls

  • Filling or maintaining a pool under the following circumstance: during its construction; if it has medical uses; is needed for decontaminating animals or veterinary treatment; contains fish, including ornamental fountains

Other exceptions

'Discretionary universal exceptions' apply to the following people:

  • Blue badge holders who have mobility problems. They can use a hosepipe to water their gardens

  • Those who have an approved drip or trickle irrigation watering system

Can businesses use a hosepipe?

Some businesses can use a hosepipe for the following reasons:

  • Hand car washing

  • Window cleaning

  • Graffiti removal

How much could you be fined for breaking the hosepipe ban?

The maximum fine for anyone who ignores the rules is £1,000

How do you challenge the ban or ask for an exemption?

All representations must be made in writing by 26 August to: Yorkshire Water, PO Box 52, Bradford, BD3 7YD