Hosepipe ban comes into force for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex

hose pipe
Credit: PA

A hosepipe ban has come into force for South East Water customers across Kent and Sussex.

From 26 June, customers will not be able to use hosepipes or sprinklers to do things such as water gardens, wash cars or fill up paddling pools.

It is after demand for drinking water in the two counties reached record levels in June, with customers using a similar amount of water as in the drought in 2022.

South East Water's chief executive David Hinton claimed that people working from home was a “key factor” behind the ban, as it has “increased drinking water demand”.

Customers in Kent and Sussex will be affected by the hosepipe ban. Credit: South East Water

Are there any exceptions to the ban?

Customers can use a hosepipe if:

  • It is required for unavoidable health and safety reasons, such as removing or minimising any risk to human or animal health or safety or preventing or controlling the spread of causative agents or disease.

  • The welfare and/or health and safety of animals (including fish) would otherwise be affected.

  • It is not connected to mains water, such as using a water butt or other recycled water system.

  • You are unable to, or may find it hard to, make adaptations and are registered with the company's Priority Services Register.

South East Water says its facilities are currently working at full output, with every water treatment work and water source available to the company producing treated water to keep up with demand.

In a letter to customers, chief executive David Hinton wrote: “Over the past three years the way in which drinking water is being used across the south east has changed considerably.

“The rise of working from home has increased drinking water demand in commuter towns by around 20% over a very short period, testing our existing infrastructure.”

Customers can check whether their household is affected by using the postcode checker here.