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Hosepipe Ban Guide

Hosepipe Ban Guide

With hosepipe bans in place across the country, and the promise of more to follow in coming weeks, we can all do our bit by saving water wherever we can. While not uncommon, hosepipe bans have been few and far between, with Northern Ireland being under a brief ban in 2018, when a wider ban across northern England was cancelled at the last minute thanks to heavy rainfall. Prior to that, bans were implemented in 2012, 1996 and, of course, the memorable summer of ’76.

So, what does a hosepipe ban look like in 2022?

Domestic properties can’t use a hosepipe attached to a mains tap to:

  • Water your garden
  • Water plants
  • Access water for any other use
  • Fill a pond or fountain
  • Fill or maintain a swimming pool, paddling pool, or hot tub
  • Clean your car
  • Clean the exterior of your home (walls, windows, roofs, decking, patios, pathways)
  • Clean a boat or other leisure device (paddleboard, kayak)

You CAN undertake the above activities using a hosepipe attached to saved or reused water, e.g. a water butt.


As always, there are exceptions to these rules. If you hold a Blue Badge, or are recognised as vulnerable by your water board, the hosepipe ban won’t apply to you. The below exemptions are statutory, which means that they apply to you wherever you live in the country. In addition, some water boards will have discretionary exemptions. These vary from board to board and it is worth getting in touch to ask if you have any questions.

You can use a hosepipe attached to the mains water supply:

  • For health or safety reasons, where this includes (a) removing or minimising any risk to human or animal health or safety; and (b) preventing or controlling the spread of causative agents of disease
  • Water plants that are (1) grown or kept for sale or commercial use, or (2) that are part of a National Plant Collection or temporary garden or flower display
  • Clean any area of a private leisure boat which, except for doors or windows, is enclosed by a roof and walls

You can also use a hosepipe to fill or maintain:

  • A pool where necessary in the course of its construction
  • A pool that is designed, constructed or adapted for use in the course of a programme of medical treatment
  • A pool that is used for the purpose of decontaminating animals from infections or disease
  • A pool used in the course of a programme of veterinary treatment
  • A pool in which fish or other aquatic animals are being reared or kept in captivity
  • A domestic pond in which fish or other aquatic animals are being reared or kept in captivity
  • An ornamental fountain which is in or near a fish-pond and whose purpose is to supply sufficient oxygen to the water in the pond in order to keep the fish healthy.

Next week we take a look at ways that you can save water, and make sure that your garden continues to flourish despite the ban. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more.

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