South East Water, which supplies Kent and Sussex, is the latest company to announce restrictions, following restrictions imposed by Southern Water last week in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
People in affected areas will not be allowed to water their plants, wash their cars, or fill their paddling pools.
Other companies are warning they may have to follow suit if dry weather and high demand continue, with people across the country being warned to use their water wisely.
Which jurisdictions are banning hosepipes, what are the rules, and how do hosepipe bans work?
Here’s everything you need to know.
In which areas is the hose pipe banned?
Last week, Southern Water announced the first hosepipe ban of the year, which will come into force in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from Friday, August 5, known as a Temporary Use Ban (TUB).
Yesterday, Kent and Sussex, the water supplier for South East Water, became the latest to announce hosepipe bans, breaking “all previous records” amid “extremely” dry conditions this summer.
In a statement on its website, South East Water said: “It has been a period of extreme weather conditions across the UK. Official figures show this is the driest July on record since 1935 and November 2021 and The period between July 2022 has been the driest eight-month period since 1976.
“During July in the south-east, we have seen just eight per cent of the average rainfall for the month, and the long-term forecast for August and September is for similar weather.
“Water demand this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heat wave. We are generating an additional 120 million liters of water per day to supply our customers, which is equivalent to four more towns in Maidstone per day. or equivalent to a water supply the size of Eastbourne.
“We have been left with no choice but to restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers in our Kent and Sussex supply area from 0001 on Friday 12 August until further notice.
“We are taking this step to ensure that we have enough water for essential uses and to protect the environment. It will also help us reduce the amount of water we have to use in our already-stressed areas. Need to take from local water sources.
Manx Utilities also introduced a temporary ban in the Isle of Man on Friday 29 July.
What are the rules for banning hosepipes?
Restrictions on water use outside of the hosepipe restriction will apply.
This means that the use of things like sprinklers, hose pipes and irrigation systems will be restricted in an effort to maintain an adequate supply of water.
For the general public, this would mean no access to a hosepipe to water your garden, wash your car, or fill any kind of pool to keep you cool in the heat.
This can more seriously affect those who rely on irrigation systems for work, such as farmers, gardeners and anyone who needs access to outdoor water to make a living.
Once a hosepipe ban is in place, those who break the rules can be prosecuted in the criminal court and fined up to £1,000.
Individual water utility companies for specific areas are allowed to set terms and conditions for restrictions, including hours of restriction, and if there are any extenuating circumstances.
What can you do during the hose ban?
Although you can’t use a hose, you can still water your garden with a watering can.
In previous hosepipe restrictions, it was acceptable to use watering cans, buckets and other methods of carrying water to water the garden or your car.
Before you do this, be sure to check the specific rules of your local water company.
When and why are they implemented?
The idea behind the hose ban is to reduce water consumption levels to winter levels. A 2014 joint study by the universities of Manchester, Edinburgh, Southampton and Lancaster suggested that less than 20% of people with gardens use a hosepipe to water them.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that only 1% of the average 142 liters (284 pints) of water used per person per day goes to the garden and 1% to the car.
Running a hose for an hour uses about 1,000 liters of water, so many people don’t need to use a lot of water to water their garden with a hose.
When was the last time hose pipes were banned in the UK?
The last time a hosepipe ban was imposed in the UK was in 2018, which came into effect on August 5. Earlier it was banned in 2012.