Thames Water announces hosepipe ban

Published: 12 Mar 2012 15:2523 comments

THAMES Water will impose a hosepipe ban next month in a bid to tackle the increasing severe drought.

The company announced today it is one of seven across the south and east of England bringing in restrictions on water-use from April 5 - ahead of the Easter weekend.

The ban applies to the nine million water customers in the Thames Valley and London and follows one of the driest two-year periods on record.

Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs said: "We have been doing as much as we can ourselves to save water, reducing leakage by a third since its peak in 2004 to its lowest-ever level, and hitting our leakage-reduction targets five years running.

"We know these restrictions will be unpopular, but they will save a lot of water. A garden sprinkler uses as much water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day, and when water is in short supply the needs of families must come first.

"We want to encourage everyone to continue to voluntarily save as much of this precious resource as possible, so there is enough to go around all our customers, however long it stays dry."

The region has had 35cm less rain than normal since March 2010, with the Pang - which is running at just a third of its long-term average flow and has dried up completely upstream of Bucklebury to its source seven miles north at Compton - one of worst hit rivers in Berkshire.

The restrictions include a ban on hosepipes being used for gardening, recreation uses - such as filling swimming or paddling pools - or cleaning purposes. Customers can still water their gardens and clean their cars, provided they use either a watering can or a bucket.

Mr Baggs added: "Anyone who willfully breaches the terms of the water-use bans can be prosecuted. And we will do that if necessary.

"But we would much prefer to get results asking for people's help, understanding and co-operation. The last time we had to restrict use, in 2006, we had a fantastic response from our customers, with a 5% reduction in water use on average."

He added the company can not rule out the possibility of applying for a drought order from the Government if the dry weather continues. Such an order would result in extended water use restrictions - most of which would affect commercial customers.

Met Office operations director Rob Varley said: "Even sustained rainfall over the next few months would have a limited impact, however we are working with the water industry to make sure they have the best weather forecast information available to help them manage their resources."

Enviroment Agency south east regional director, Howard Davidson, added: "We will be watching to ensure water companies follow their drought plans, and expect them to demonstrate they are doing everything possible to reduce water demand including stepping up their publicity campaigns.

The restrictions are being supported by the Angling Trust, RSPB and WWF UK.

Temporary Use Ban Notice: Section 76 Water Industry Act 1991

Thames Water Utilities Limited gives notice to all of its customers, that the water it supplies throughout its entire area must NOT be used for the following purposes:

1. Watering a 'garden' using a hosepipe;

2. Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe;

3. Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe;

4. Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe;

5. Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool;

6. Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use;

7. Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe;

8. Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain;

9. Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe;

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  • rayc46
    Unregistered User
    Mar 12, 18:58
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    if you have valuable live stock in your pond are you not allowed to fill it

    Recommend?   Yes 41     No 6

  • sickofit
    Unregistered User
    Mar 12, 20:04
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    Please may we have a reduction in our water rates bill for 2012 then Thames Water? You made excellent profits and seems as there will be a reduction in supply then I feel it would be justified.


    Recommend?   Yes 97     No 7

  • Mrs E.Rose
    Unregistered User
    Mar 12, 20:16
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    Oh dear, after examining their profits and loss to March 2011 it appears that Thames Waters profit was 225.2 MILLION. Cant wait to see what their profits will be at the end of this month! Greedy so and so`s. I think you are going to have to reduce your water bills. Think ill start a facethingymajig group and maybe even an E petition highlighting this fact.

    Look at it yourselves, pages 33-38. There is an interesting section towards the bottom of the financial details, the shareholders profits of 1505.9 MILLION.

    I have to agree, with the previous post.

    Recommend?   Yes 34     No 2

  • Amandafive
    Unregistered User
    Mar 12, 20:23
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    Sorry kids you can't go and play in the paddling pool on this hot summers day - the men from Thames water won't let you! Maybe one of you would like to come and say no to my 3 year old who spent most of last summer in his paddling pool. Big bad Thames water :(

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 13

  • Anon
    Unregistered User
    Mar 12, 21:34
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    I assume I can use the water in my water butt with a hose pipe and pressure washer to wash my car?

    Recommend?   Yes 17     No 6

  • Uneducated
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    Mar 12, 21:34
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    Too many Katesgrove and Newtown residents leading their camels to water...

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 2

  • Berty
    Unregistered User
    Mar 12, 21:58
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    Oh, wonderful... The usual ignorant British attitude to everything..... Reduce my bill, give me compensation, what is my darling little child going to do this summer etc.... Face up to it we have a water shortage, too many people on too small an island using too much water... Simple facts i'm afraid! And if you think its too expensive, why not compare it to your electricity and gas bill?.. All we need now is the 'water should be free as it falls from the sky' brigade to come out of the woodwork! But if thats your outlook, then feel free to drink it.... If nothing else it will help with natural selection and reduce the over popoulation problem!

    Recommend?   Yes 21     No 24

  • skint as you like
    Unregistered User
    Mar 13, 10:14
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    Its not that a all Berty my little agitator, I believe that the point not the shortage of water but in fact the water companies (which we have no choice in using) charge `x` amount for supply. Right? Instead of making preparations for things like this in advance and investing that nice tidy profit any additional works needed to continue to rip us of* I mean supply us is done by way of increasing customer bills and shaving their workforce down and stripping assets. Water, as you know is crucial for us to live so why are shareholders involved. It should not be run as a business like this. SO, I return to the point, that little tidy sum of profit, will our bills be reduced in some way as our supply will be limited `in some way`. It makes perfect sense, wake up from your dream and get with it, stop these criminals ripping us off for the sake of profit!!!

    Recommend?   Yes 19     No 4

  • Berty
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    Mar 13, 15:38
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    Unfortunately it is no dream that i live in it is just the real world.. The water companies, albeit regulated are private companies that need to make a profit in order to gain the necessary funding through loans, investors and indeed customers bills to reinvest in a network that went through years and years of neglect due to under investment when nationalised... The reinvestment that they can make and the way in which they bill their customers is highly regulated and as thus they cannot always make provision for this type of 'thing'... I'm assuming that by 'preparing' you mean collecting water through the winter/wetter periods in reservoirs that they currently don't have and filling them with water that doesn't exist as it hasn't rained that much! The simple fact is that that Thames, Severn Trent, Anglian Water etc currently do invest far more every year than they make in profits, but they need to borrow the money to do so, and therefore to borrow money you need to be a viable business which makes money!

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 7

  • billi161
    Unregistered User
    Mar 13, 17:27
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    how do i report someone useing a hosepipe during hosepipe ban

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 6

  • star
    Unregistered User
    Mar 13, 17:41
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    my boyfriend cleans cars for a living!! Does that mean the hosepipe ban will keep him out of work while its on?? if so is there some sort of grant that the government will provide or do we jus starve!!

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 4

  • Anon
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    Mar 13, 19:40
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    I think the point that trying to be made Bert is that they shouldnt be a private company :/

    They are greedy devils like the majority of this type of business, Electric, Gas, Rail. An infrastructure type company should be nationalised or customers should have a choice as to who provides that particular service, end of. This way it works for the better of everyone, provides jobs and a decent service to customers without profits coming first, makes sense to me too so have to agree. How much does the CEO of Thames water get paid? Does it need to be that much? get real.

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 2

  • Philips78
    Unregistered User
    Mar 13, 21:34
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    I work for my LTD company the company is registered to the home address I use the car for travel, claims miles etc so I guess this could work will be worth a phone call.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • mackenzie 96
    Unregistered User
    Mar 14, 13:59
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    I pay my water rates for Thames Water to supply me with water. They are now saying my useage is to be restricted, surely my bill should be reduced accordingly.

    If I had a reduced service from any other business I would be legally protected and expect to pay less. Can someone please advise why water companies are allowed to get away with this.

    I do understand the need for a ban, but why should we all be paying through the nose for a reduced service whilst these companies make excessive profits.

    Recommend?   Yes 26     No 4

  • scragbag
    Unregistered User
    Mar 14, 16:26
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    @mackenzie 96: TOO RIGHT I agree also. This is disgusting and what will Thames Water`s response be? `Oh we cant make it rain` (but we can carry on charging you for the full year) should be nationlised.

    Oh oh theres a burst water main off Northumberland Avenue, Reading today quick plug it, fix it quick precious water going down the drain there boys.

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 1

  • Sophie
    Unregistered User
    Mar 14, 19:49
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    I really can't believe people are complaining that they can't wash a car or fill a paddling pool when they have the luxury of clean water piped to their home.

    I hope if you think about the many millions of people who have to literally carry their (dirty) water home for miles you'd realise how lucky you are and get some perspective.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 15

  • bobby
    Unregistered User
    Mar 15, 11:00
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    Sophie `they` dont even have an economy let alone one that rips them off for any sort of reduced service that is provided.

    Recommend?   Yes 11     No 1

  • Bazzer
    Unregistered User
    Mar 18, 09:11
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    This year, we’re being treated to lots of talk about low rainfall. So what’s the truth?

    Well the truth is not what you may think. The FACT is that England has recently seen a higher level of rainfall not seen since the early 1920s. Yes, really! 2010 and 2011 were ‘low’ years, but many years in the past decade saw incredible amounts of rainfall. The year 2000 saw a record amount for England. Indeed, the top two years for rainfall for the south of England were both in the past eleven years, while the two driest years for this region were in the 1970s.

    We may get the odd one or two years that are exceptionally dry, but equally we can expect to get exceptionally wet years too. Gearing up (and paying) for low rainfall times may be money misplaced, as there is nothing to suggest that we should be worried. The fact is that annual UK rainfall has not undergone a statistically significant change since records began in 1766, and the ten years between 2000 and 2010 saw more rainfall in England & Wales than any other 10-year period since modern records began in 1914.

    What we should be doing however, is managing rainfall - by the building of adequately-sized reservoirs. If our government and planners are going to continue to allow the population explosion in the southeast of England at the expected 11% by 2021 (just nine years!) then we can expect a proportionally-increased demand for water.

    We could do with some honesty for a start. Demands for curtailing the use of water through low-flush toilets, restricted showerheads and the like just won’t do. Similarly, blaming a lack of rainfall is not just disingenuous, it’s a downright lie. Our problem lies squarely with storing water coupled with an increasing population. If we want to tackle this issue honestly then we must start building new reservoirs and halt planning permission in the South East. Rainfall is not the problem, no matter what some uninformed journalist, Greenie, or MP may tell you, and the truth is that such an important resource for life should never have been sold off to the private sector.

    Recommend?   Yes 17     No 1

  • antfish21
    Unregistered User
    Apr 2, 22:19
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    if i use my hose to top up my pond that is full of large fish i will be prosecuted by thames

    if i dont use my hose my fish will become distressed and die through low oxegen levels and the rspca will prosecute me.

    i know you will say i can use a bucket but i will still use the same amount of water

    conclusion use the hose save the fish...

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 1

  • Mark marten
    Unregistered User
    Apr 2, 23:31
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    Is it not time to have a water network almost like a motorway system so we can send or distribute water where needed?Also can we not build a water treatment plant and take from the sea?will we end up importing water because we are too stupid to see sense in investing in the future and not the share holders?

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 0

  • sanardy
    Unregistered User
    Apr 3, 08:59
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    In March last year the Government Thames Water’s plans to build a £1bn Reservoir in Oxfordshire. Tony de Vere, leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council said: “We have always argued that the case for this reservoir has not been made and that it is not needed.” oops!

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 0

  • Tony malonie
    Unregistered User
    Apr 23, 23:14
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    They tell us cut down, turn taps off when brushing teeth, take shorter showers. But hold on, all that water and a lot more goes straight down the plug into the drains and right back to Thames water where it came from in the first place. Or if this does not happen I'd like to know why not. Seems to me quite simple they should sort out a better drainage system

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • steve70
    Unregistered User
    May 15, 09:40
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    heres a test it takes 4 buckets of water to rinse my car or 1 and a half minutes with a hose pipe if i use the hose pipe to fill the buckets i can just fill 2 buckets in same time so which uses least amount of water the rules should be to use water with respect not bring in rules that waste it.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

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