Neighbors called for weeding on hose pipe violators


Gardeners are being encouraged to weed their green-fingered neighbors if they see them repeatedly flouting hose bans.

Violators face fines of up to £1,000 when taken to court, although water companies say they prefer to “enforce education”.

It comes as the first hosepipe bans – also known as Temporary Use Bans (TUBs) – were introduced in parts of southern England on Friday, with the south east and south west of England later this month. More restrictions were imposed for Wales.

Elsewhere, golf courses have seen their fairways dry up, while the source of the River Thames has moved five miles downstream for the first time.

Southern Water, whose restrictions on domestic water use are now in place in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, encouraged people to “gently remind” neighbors of the restrictions if they see someone breaking the rules. .

A spokesperson added: “If you see someone repeatedly violating the restrictions, please let us know through our customer service team.

“Any breach can be fined up to £1,000.

“Our approach is education rather than enforcement.

“We would like to thank all our customers for supporting these restrictions and doing whatever they can to protect your local rivers.”

Any fines will be imposed by the courts.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

Southern Water’s annual report shows it’s wasting about 21 million gallons of water a day due to leaks, though that’s down slightly from last year.

Current restrictions include using a hosepipe to water the garden, clean the car or wash the windows.

These include filling a paddling pool, home pool or decorative fountain.

The TUB does not impose restrictions on essential and commercial uses of water, such as commercial window cleaners and car washes, or businesses that require water as part of their operations, such as zoos.

Domestic paddling pools cannot be filled under the rules banning hosepipes, although zoos are exempt (Chris Redburn/PA) / PA Archive

Similar measures will be introduced for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex on August 12, while Welsh Water will ban hosepipes to cover Pembrokeshire on August 19.

Months of little rain combined with record-breaking temperatures in July have left rivers at unusually low levels, depleted reservoirs and parched soil.

In Gloucestershire, the source of the River Thames has moved downstream by five miles – described by the Rivers Trust as “unprecedented”, and a “sad sign” of the climate emergency.

All this has put pressure on the environment, agriculture and water supplies, and is fueling wildfires.

The Met Office has warned that “very little meaningful rain” is on the horizon for drier parts of England as temperatures are set to dip into the 30s next week.

Greens and fairways at Littlestone Golf Club near New Romney in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA) / PA Wire

While this could mean another heatwave – when three days or more of above-average temperatures – it is likely that conditions will be well below the 40C seen in some places last month.

The situation calls for measures to reduce water consumption to protect the environment and supplies, and to “massively” restore the country’s lost wetlands to deal with a future of more dry summers and droughts. Is.

Other water firms have so far refrained from imposing restrictions despite low water levels, although some say they may need to implement restrictions if the dry spell continues.

Households not yet affected by the restrictions are being urged to avoid using hosepipes to water the garden or clean the car.