Hosepipe ban 2015: latest update

So far, this year has been fairly dry with below-average rainfall, but a hosepipe ban remains unlikely for 2015.

The Environment Agency announced that water levels are good, with a spokesperson saying: “River and groundwater levels across England are healthy. We monitor closely throughout the year and always advise people to use water wisely.”1

Britain’s last major hosepipe ban was in 2012 following two particularly dry winters. Occasional heatwaves, like the one we experienced earlier in the month, do prompt fears of drought but as long as the winter months are normal, water levels tend to remain good.

Hosepipe ban FAQs

Why are hosepipe and sprinkler bans imposed?

Hosepipes and sprinklers tend to be left on for long periods of time and use up large amounts of water.

During a drought, a hosepipe ban may be implemented in order to maintain water reserves.

What’s an aquifer?

During a hosepipe ban, you may hear a lot about aquifers, as water companies often blame their low levels for making water restrictions necessary.

An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rock or unconsolidated material (gravel, sand or clay) from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well.

If there is a hosepipe ban, can I water my garden and wash my car with a watering can and bucket instead?


Under previous hosepipe bans, the use of watering cans, buckets and other water carrying devices was allowed, as these reduce the risk of using too much water. However, you should confirm with your water company what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable because the restrictions can differ from company to company.

Are allotments exempt from the hosepipe ban?

During the 2012 hosepipe ban, watering allotments was not allowed. However, some water companies will make occasional exceptions so it’s always worth asking.

How are commercial gardeners affected?

All seven water companies announced that landscaping, turf and gardening businesses were exempt from the hosepipe ban in 2012. However, do check with your water company for the updated rule if another ban is imposed.

Am I exempt if using my hosepipe for the wellbeing of an animal?

The Government requires the welfare of animals to be protected under hosepipe bans, and all water companies must adhere to this.

Therefore, the use of a hosepipe for the cleaning, maintenance and general wellbeing of any animal is acceptable.

A few examples include:

  1. Topping up or changing water in ponds containing fish, frogs, newts etc.
  2. Cleaning animals and their living quarters
  3. Filling drinking troughs for animals

Although there is currently no hosepipe ban in place in the UK, the situation could change, so please bookmark our News page to keep updated.

1 Hosepipe ban 2015. Little chance of Hosepipe Ban in 2015. [Online] Available at: http://www.hosepipeban.org.uk/2015/04/22/little-chance-of-hosepipe-ban-in-2015/. [Accessed 17th July 2015].

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