Yorkshire Water hosepipe ban: All the rules as the ban comes into force

The ban came into force at midnight on August 26 and it is not yet known how long it will last. Credit: PA

The Yorkshire Water hosepipe ban has come into force and is expected to affect around five million customers.

The ban, which came into force at midnight on Friday August 26, is the first of its kind for 27 years.

Neil Dewis, director of water at Yorkshire Water, told ITV News: "It’s been an exceptionally dry year and we’ve seen reservoir stocks decline to less than 50%. We're asking our customers to help.

What are the rules?

The rules prohibit using a hosepipe for:

  • Watering a garden

  • Watering plants

  • Cleaning vehicles or boats

  • 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

You are allowed to carry out the above activities using a watering can or bucket filled up from mains water.

What are the exceptions?

  • Health and safety, including preventing or controlling the spread of disease

  • 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 during its construction, if it has medical uses, if it is needed for decontaminating animals or veterinary treatment or if it contains fish

  • Approved drip or trickle irrigation watering systems

  • Hand car washing, window cleaning and graffiti removal businesses are also also exempt

If you are a blue badge holder with mobility problems you are allowed to use a hosepipe to water your garden.

What will the punishment be for breaking the ban?

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

However, Mr Dewis said: "If we saw someone repeatedly using a hosepipe our main priority would be to go out and educate.

"Of course we do have the enforcement powers, but we would really look to that as a last resort."

How long will the ban last?

It is not yet known how long the hosepipe ban will be in place for.

Mr Dewis told ITV News: "We need above average rainfall between now and March next year to see those reservoirs recover to normal levels.

"As we get into winter there’s a higher chance of rainfall so we plan to keep the hosepipe ban on certainly for the next few weeks until we see some recovery in the reservoirs, but we will keep that under review."