Should I report a neighbour for breaching a hosepipe ban?

Almost all uses of a hosepipe are banned under the rules. Credit: PA

Yorkshire Water says it expects "communities to work together" to support restrictions on use after it became the latest provider to announce a hosepipe ban.

The company said the measure was necessary with rivers running low and reservoir levels around 20% lower than normal.

The rules, which come into force on 26 August, ban using a hosepipe for most domestic purposes, including watering gardens and filling paddling pools.

Anyone caught breaching the rules could face a maximum fine of £1,000.

But Neil Dewis, director of water at Yorkshire Water, told ITV News fines would be a "last resort".

He said: "We have the powers. There's a £1,000 fine, but it really isn't what we'd be looking to do. We see that if you work with customers and give them good information people respond well so [fining them] is not something we'd be looking to do."

Hosepipe bans are already in force in several areas, including for customers of Southern Water in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, and South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex.

In Wales, Welsh Water announced a ban from Friday, August 19, for customers in Pembrokeshire.

Should you report someone who breaks the rules?

Southern Water, which brought in a ban on 5 August, has encouraged its customers to "gently remind" their neighbours about restrictions.

A spokesperson said: "If you see anyone repeatedly breaching the restrictions, please let us know via our customer service team.”

Asked whether residents should report neighbours who break Yorkshire Water's rules, Mr Dewis said: "We would look for communities to do what they can and work together. I think people will do that in the most part and that's what we would encourage."

  • Neil Dewis, of Yorkshire Water, speaks to ITV News reporter Rachel Townsend

He said there had already been a reduction in water usage of 7-8% in those areas where bans are already in place.

A drought has already been declared in large swathes of the country. Yorkshire is not among those areas, but Mr Dewis said he expected that to change within the next couple of weeks.

"We're being proactive and making sure we're ahead of that to protect supplies into the winter," he said.

According to official statistics, Yorkshire has among the worst problems with leaks in the country, losing an average of 130 litres per property each day.

Mr Dewis said he understood the "frustration". "We work incredibly hard every year to reduce leakage," he said. "During the last two years we have reduced leakage by 7% and we're looking over the next two years to reduce it by 14% overall. We will continue to drive down because we know we have to play our part as well."

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