Hosepipe ban rules: What happens if you get caught watering your plants?

People are being urged to use water wisely as England faces drought in August if the hot and dry weather continues. Credit: PA Images

People are being urged to use water wisely as the UK continues to experience hot and dry weather.

Temperatures are set to cool down this week, but will still hit highs of around 24 degrees Celcius in parts of the south east.

A hosepipe ban has come into force for South East Water customers on Monday 26 June.

The restriction, known as a Temporary Use Ban (TUB), was announced on Friday 16 June to allow drinking water to be delivered to customers consistently.

But what are the rules surrounding a hosepipe ban, and will you get fined if you get caught watering your plants during the restrictions?

What are the rules for homes?

Households are not allowed to use a hosepipe for any of the following uses:

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe  

  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe 

  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe 

  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe  

  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool 

  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use 

  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe 

  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain 

  • 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

Some people may still be able to use a hosepipe during the ban under exceptional circumstances.

People who are using a hose for health and safety reasons, blue badge holders and those who have an approved drip or trickle irrigation system fitted with a pressure reducing valve (PRV) and timer are permitted to continue using a hosepipe.

What about businesses?

Businesses such as garden centres and car washes are not included in the ban and can continue to operate normally.

Water companies say there is currently no risk to the UK's overall water supply currently, but are urging people to take extra precautions to preserve water during warm weather.

Could I be fined?

Each water utility company sets its own terms and conditions regarding prosecution, but people could face a penalty of up to £1,000 for continuing to ignore the rules.

Residents living in an area where a hosepipe ban is in force are urged to check with their water company on their specific policy.

A spokesperson for South East Water said: “Following a period of consultation, we will be able to take action against customers who contravene the hosepipe restrictions from Monday, 26 June.

"Customers who are found contravening the restrictions could be fined £1000.

"If a customer is reported to us, we will investigate the situation and check if any exemptions are in place for the customer."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...