The current hose pipe ban has been getting a lot of press recently and we the public are sceptical after we experienced the wettest April on record with 13 flood warnings and more rain predicted for May.
Hopefully this article will give you a brief overview of what exactly is going on with the hosepipe ban, where and who it's affecting and what you can do to help.
The rain in Summer is largely taken by plants and evaporation.
The current ban is affecting approximately 20 million people in the UK in and around the South and East. The rain we needed simply didn't fall during our last 2 winters when the ground levels are usually replaced. Then during April of this year we had some of the heaviest rain in over 100 years which is good news for farmers, gardeners, fish and wildlife in rivers but we we still need more water to cover the depleted stocks from the last two years of dry weather.
May is set to be another wet month but water companies will still have to keep their hose pipe ban in place for now and for most of the year. Recently raised was the subject of Standpipes. A water standpipe is a pipe connected to the local water supply. On the end it has a tap, which people can use to get fresh water from the local supply. If introduced, water supplies to properties would be cut and people expected to source their water from these communal stand pipes. They have not been used since 1976. Environment Secretary Caroline Spellman said “Whereas it’s most unlikely we’d have standpipes this year, if we have another dry winter that becomes more likely.”
The rain we experienced in April was only enough to give our stocks a short term boost.
The areas affected are:
It is said that anyone ignoring the ban faces a fine of up to £1000 but we can all do our bit to help; check out our ten tips of reducing the amount of water we use:
- When washing hands, teeth and dishes turn OFF the tap instead of keeping it running.
- Run dish washer and washing machine only when full; you can save so much water this way.
- Plant plants in the spring instead of summer.
- Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants to keep moisture locked in.
- Use a broom instead of hose pipe to clean driveways.
- Shortening your shower by only one minute will save up to 150 gallons of water a month.
- Collect water from your house, garden sheds and garage roofs to use on the garden.
- If you are able to use a hose pipe & watering a large area such as lawn or vegetable plot, spray on water in short intervals stoppping the water for at least 5 minutes in between watering preventing any excess water running off the area.
- If you wash your car at home, wash it on the lawn so watering garden at the same time.
- If a family of four replace their inefficient shower head with a water-efficient one they could save around £72 off their gas bills and around £72 off their water bills (if they have a water meter) each year. That’s a total saving of £150.