On Thursday of last week, around twenty million people in the South and East of England woke up to the news that they were under an official hose pipe ban. And although it will not be policed, officials are asking the general public to be vigilant and ‘grass’ their neighbours up, should they spy them using their hose pipes whilst the ban is under force. Indeed, if you do live in affected areas and use your hose pipe, you can risk getting a fine of up to £1000. So why, especially as I have woken up to a grey, drizzling day today, are we under a ban in the first place? Weather experts inform us that the last two winters have been exceptionally dry and this has seriously affected the amount of water stored in the South’s reservoirs and groundwater levels are abnormally low. This has led to severe drought conditions that are expected to last all of spring and well into summer.
There is good news for commercial grounds and farmers however as the ban only extends to domestic properties, so hoses that are meant for sports grounds, farming, and national events will not be subject to any restrictions. When talking about the self policing way the ban would be enforced, a spokesperson for Anglian Water said that “We really hope that fines wouldn’t be necessary.” In the first instance, if someone was caught using a hose pipe, they would get a ‘yellow card’ type of letter sent to them. This would be followed up by a visit if continued misuse of the ban occurred, then prosecution by the courts. But the ban seems to have brought out differing opinions from the general public, as in two separate surveys, a third said they would report a neighbour who flouted the ban, whilst another third said they would defy it altogether.
So what can you now NOT do that you could before? Simply, you cannot use a hose pipe AT ALL. But, you can use anything else to do the same tasks, so, you can wash your car – but with a bucket, you can fill up a paddling or swimming pool – but with a bucket, you can water your garden – but with a watering can. With this in mind, we have put together some useful gadgets/products which are all designed to help you save water during the hose pipe ban.
Sankey Super Space Saver Water Butt – £56.40
This Water Butt is perfect for collecting and storing rainwater. This large 250 litre Water Butt is designed to utilise as little space in the garden as possible. It is ideal for smaller gardens or minimal spaces. Furthermore the square shape allows the Water Butt to be positioned against a wall. 250 litre large capacity. Complete with lid and new Fast Flow Water tap. Made from 100% recycled content, of which a minimum is 75% post consumer waste. Use with Standard Water Butt Stand.
Haws 7 Litre Deluxe Plastic Watering Can – Red – £19.99
The Haws 7 Litre Deluxe Plastic Watering Can is a very strong and well made plastic watering can, ideal for those requiring precise watering. It is made from tough injection moulded plastic. The back handle and cross stem provide two gripping points for ease of use and balanced pouring. The Haws 7 Litre Deluxe Plastic Watering Can is supplied complete with an oval all brass rose and downspout. The 7 Litre (1.5 gallon) capacity of this watering can and the two holding points, makes it ideal for precision watering and not too heavy for carrying.
Hand Pump Pressure Washer – £29.99
The Water Saving Hand Pump Pressure Washer is the most versatile water-saving product we’ve come across. No hosepipe. No electricity. Water saving at its best. It relies neither on electricity nor a hosepipe, so you can use it for just about everything, at any time and anywhere, whether at home or in a remote field. With its adjustable pressurised water spray delivered through a handy trigger system, you can use water efficiently and effectively, choosing to apply a range of sprays from concentrated jet to a fine mist.
Water Bubbles – Multi Colour – £5.00
Water Bubbles are non-fade round pearl shaped water-storing gel beads, which inflate up to 100 times their own weight, and are used primarily for fresh flower displays, but are also suitable for candle arrangements, for use in growing plants and many other centrepiece arrangements. Glistening and translucent after absorbing water, place your Water Bubbles in your vase and use the same as water. Place your fresh flowers in the Water Bubbles and they will provide all the moisture your plants need to keep them fresh – the same as water in the vase but with the added benefit of eleminating the stagnant stem rotting that occurs when flowers stand in water.
Hozelock Water Storage Gel Mats – £3.89
The Hozelock Water Storing Gel Mats, product code 2022, is a biodegradable mat impregnated with water storage gel and is perfect for use with pots, indoor plants and hanging baskets. The water Storing Gel Mats can save up to 90% of the water traditionally used for hanging baskets and reduce the time spent watering hanging baskets. Hozelock’s Water Storing Gel Mats contain the fastest acting water retaining gel available and because it acts fast, less water runs out of the plant pot or hanging basket and less is wasted. The plants roots grow into and through the mat and access the stored water when required. This reduces the need for constant watering and means the plants are healthier and stronger. The Water Storing Gel Mats last for one season.