Yorkshire Water announces hosepipe ban starting on 26 August

A drop of water falling from a hosepipe.
Credit: PA Images

Yorkshire Water has announced it will introduce a hosepipe ban from 26 August as a result of the dry weather.

The company said parts of the county had seen the lowest rainfall since records began more than 130 years ago.

It said the recent dry spell meant rivers were running low and reservoir levels were around 20% lower than normal.

Director of water, Neil Dewis, said: "We’ve been doing everything we can to avoid putting in restrictions but unfortunately, they’re now necessary as part of our drought planning.   

Credit: PA Images

"We’re grateful to our customers, who have been saving water where they can this summer. It is really important that we all continue to do so, to help protect our water resources and the environment."

The ban comes amid a third heatwave of the summer for parts of the region and with temperatures expected to exceed 30C over the weekend. The prolonged dry weather has led to a drought being declared in parts of the country.

It means the Environment Agency and water companies can implement more of their plans to manage the impacts of low water levels.

Mr Dewis added: "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.

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

Official figures on leaks show that Yorkshire Water has some of the worst problems with leaks of any water company, with an average 130 litres per property being lost in 2020-21.

But Mr Dewis said it was working hard to stop leaks. He said leaks had halved since 1995 and added: "This year we have extra people in our field teams and have adopted a seven-day working pattern so that we can find and fix leaks quicker."

What activities are covered by a hosepipe ban?

  • 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

Yorkshire Water says people can still undertake the above activities without using a hosepipe 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.

Businesses will be allowed to use a hosepipe if it is directly related to a commercial purpose.

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