A hosepipe ban is set to come into force in Yorkshire this month.
It comes as the county swelters in yet another heatwave, following the driest July on record.
Yorkshire Water announced that the hosepipe ban would come into force towards the end of August.
An official drought status has been declared in parts of the South West, parts of southern and central England, and the East of England.
The change could lead to more measures such as hosepipe bans, however, the Environment Agency has reassured the public that essential water supplies are safe.
Here is all you need to know:
When is the hosepipe ban coming into force in Yorkshire?
Yorkshire Water announced that a hosepipe ban will be in place from 26 August.
An end date to the ban has not been announced by the company.
Welsh Water, Southern Water, Thames Water, and South East Water have also announced hosepipe bans.
What are the restrictions?
Yorkshire Water have announced the following measures as part of the hosepipe ban:
- Watering a garden using a hosepipe
- Cleaning vehicles or boats using a hosepipe
- Watering plants with a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
- Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
- Cleaning walls or windows of domestic premises using a hosepipe
- Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
- Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe
People can still undertake the above activities without using a hosepipe if they use tap water from a bucket or watering can; or use water that is not sourced from taps such as grey water, rainwater from a water butt, or a private borehole, for example.
Businesses will be allowed to use a hosepipe if it is directly related to a commercial purpose. There are restrictions on using a hosepipe if not for those essential commercial needs – so using a hosepipe to clean a path outside a business property, for example, would not be allowed.
Blue badge holders, those on Yorkshire Water’s Priority Services register or WaterSure tariff for medical reasons, are also excluded from the ban.
What areas are affected by the hosepipe ban?
The hosepipe ban will be in force for all Yorkshire Water customers from 26 August.
Areas include: West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, part of North Lincolnshire, most of North Yorkshire and part of Derbyshire.
Why is there a hosepipe ban?
Neil Dewis, Yorkshire Water’s director of water, said: “Parts of Yorkshire have seen the lowest rainfall since our records began more than 130 years ago. The hot, dry, weather means that Yorkshire’s rivers are running low and our reservoirs are around 20% lower than we would expect for this time of year. We’ve been doing everything we can to avoid putting in restrictions but unfortunately, they’re now necessary as part of our drought planning.
“We’re grateful to our customers, who have been saving water where they can this summer. It is really important that we all continue to do so, to help protect our water resources and the environment.
“We’ve been working hard in the background to balance our water stocks through our region-wide grid system (an investment made by Yorkshire Water after the last hosepipe ban in 1995/6) and reduce water lost from leaky pipes (we have reduced this by 50% since 1995/6) - this year we have extra people in our field teams and have adopted a seven-day working pattern so that we can find and fix leaks quicker.
He continied: “We’ve been monitoring reservoir levels, weather forecasts and other environmental indicators closely to determine whether we might need to put further measures in place.
“As we’ve now reached that trigger point, we need to make sure that we have enough supply for the essential needs of people across the region this year and next, as well as making sure we’re able to protect our local environment by limiting the amount of water we have to draw from the rivers. Our decision to introduce a hosepipe ban is based on the risk that water stocks continue to fall in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long term river health.
“Having a hosepipe ban in place also allows us to apply for drought permits from the Environment Agency, which means we can abstract more water from our rivers and reduce flows out of our reservoirs so that we can continue to provide the water our customers rely on us for.
“The ban will come into effect on 26th August, and we’ll keep everyone updated on when it will end.”