Hosepipe bans set to hit tomorrow

sprinkler on hosepipeGareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There will be a hosepipe ban announced tomorrow, which will hit one in three homes in the UK, according to a report in the Daily Mail. For anyone who has been struggling through weeks of drizzle, downpours and hail, this may come as a bit of a shock. However, the water companies are insisting it is vital.

So what is happening and what can you do?

The ban

According to the Daily Mail, there will be a hosepipe ban announced for the South and East of England. It will cover Anglian, Southern, Thames, South East and Veolia – which operates within London and the Home Counties. The bans will come into effect by the middle of April and will affect 20 million people. It added that there may also be announcements from Portsmouth Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water later this month

The problem, the report says, is that rainfall has been consistently below traditional levels for the last two years. In fact, while elsewhere has seen its share of horizontal rain and snow, in some areas, this has been the driest winter on record - and the Met says it's not expecting any sudden and significant downpours there for the next month. As a result, some 14 counties are in drought, and more are expected to be labelled as such tomorrow.
%VIRTUAL-ArticleSidebar%

Reservoirs are apparently at record lows, so the water companies have decided they must take drastic measures.

What can you do?

If there is a ban announced in your area, you have no choice. If you break the ban you could face a fine of £1,000, so you need to find an alternative way to water the garden and clean the car. Buckets and watering cans will be making a fashionable come-back.

Even if there is no ban, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, warned about the growing crisis earlier this month and said it was up to us all to take action immediately. She announced: "Drought is already an issue this year with the South East, Anglia and other parts of the UK now officially in drought, and more areas are likely to be affected as we continue to experience a prolonged period of very low rainfall. It is not just the responsibility of government, water companies and businesses to act against drought. We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now."

Small steps

Steps can be simple. It starts with fixing leaky taps and making sure we're not wasting water without ever using it. A leaky tap can waste about 90 litres of water a week.

The toilet is a real culprit. If you have a toilet that's more than about 18 years old there's every chance that you use about 9.5 litres to flush. Modern toilets use somewhere between 7.5 and 2 litres, so it could be time for a replacement. Alternatively you can get water-saving hippos that fit into the cistern, or simply put a brick in there to save water.

Washing machines - be they for clothes or for dishes need to have a full load or you are wasting half the water in every cycle.

For gardening, install a water butt to collect rainwater for watering your plants (with a watering can), and clean patios and paths with a bucket and brush rather than a hose.

And for yourself, there are all sorts of possibilities, from turning off the tap when you clean your teeth or shave (running it wastes up to 9 litres a minute), putting a jug of water in the fridge so you don't have to wait for the tap to run cold and taking showers instead of baths (and short showers at that) which could save 400 litres a week.

Save money

The good news is that these steps could become good habits. Then even when the drought has passed and the drizzle sets in for the school summer holidays, you will be saving water. At this point you may decide to have a water meter installed. As a general rule if you have more bedrooms than people in the house you will save money. However, if you are frugal, then you could stand to save even if you have more people in the home.

It's worth checking out the calculators in the price comparison websites to see, but with the right water-saving habits, you could save up to £200 on your water bill - which isn't a bad return for turning the tap off now and again.

5 PHOTOS
Factors damaging property value
See Gallery
Hosepipe bans set to hit tomorrow

Pre-recession, homeowners would give little thought to the idea that local repossessions could affect the value of their home. 101 repossessions were recorded every day during the third quarter of 2011 and it has become a real concern.

A new crime map introduced in March 2011 was welcomed by buyers, but approached with trepidation by homeowners concerned about the impact on local property values. The map allows users to view crime statistics online by postcode to find out the crime rates and types of crime in any area.

It is widely recognized that schools with a good reputation increase competition and property demand within a local area, which in turn increases the values of property within the catchment area. Lose the school and the demand will cease too.

The devastation caused by flooding in recent years doesn't appear to paint a positive picture for homeowners faced with the financial and emotion cost of a huge clean up, insurance complications and the potential damaging effect on property values.

The proposed high speed rail link is depressing house prices for thousands of homeowners on the route and many homeowners feel helpless to stop tumbling property values.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


More stories

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS