A man filling a watering can from an outside tap during a hosepipe ban in the UK
The hosepipe ban comes into force across Yorkshire today.

Why you might see us using a hosepipe during the ban

As we near the end of a particularly hot and dry British summer, reservoir levels are running low and we are all being asked to use water wisely, with hosepipe bans in place in several areas of the country.

From today, Hull comes under the same restrictions, with Yorkshire Water bringing in a temporary hosepipe ban across the county, with fines of up to £1,000 for those who flout the rules.

While the ban applies to everyone who receives a water supply from Yorkshire Water, there are some essential tasks that certain organisations, such as businesses and local authorities, will still be allowed to carry out, especially where there are health and safety implications or where commercial activities are involved.

That’s why you may see Hull City Council staff using hosepipes for activities such as:

  • Watering sports pitches and golf courses
  • Cleaning windows of non-domestic buildings
  • Washing public service vehicles.
  • Gully cleaning, street cleansing and graffiti removal
  • Animal welfare, such as filling water troughs and maintaining ponds and fishing lakes

The following are also unaffected by the ban:

  • Public water play areas, such as splash pads and paddling pools.
  • Swimming pools and leisure centres.
  • Water features that recycle their own water, such as the “dancing jets” in Queen Victoria Square and the “mirror pools” in Trinity Square.

Andy Burton, Assistant Director (Streetscene), said: “At Hull City Council, we know how important it is to use water as carefully as possible at all times, especially now with rivers and reservoirs at record low levels.

“From Friday, will be sticking to the hosepipe ban like everyone else, but there are a certain essential tasks that we are allowed to continue with.

“We are limiting our water use and using alternative methods as much as possible, but if you do see any council staff using a hosepipe, rest assured that we are carrying out these essential tasks and not breaking any rules.”

What are we doing to save water?

Where possible, the council will use lower-pressure methods and other ways to reduce water usage and wastage.

Ornamental fountains will be turned off, but water features that recycle their own water may still be used.

The watering of floral displays from hosepipes and sprinklers is not permitted, Therefore, the council will dig out and not replace bedding plants and will bring forward some winter preparations. 

To prevent any trees being lost, trees will be watered using alternative methods, such as water bowsers.

Yorkshire Water says it will not keep the ban in place any longer than necessary, but it will need to remain until there has been significant rainfall and reservoirs are closer to normal levels.

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 per cent 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.”

For more information on the hosepipe ban, visit Yorkshire Water.

The national water-saving campaign Water’s Worth Saving has helpful hints and tips on how to reduce water use in the home and garden.

Council leader Cllr Mike Ross signing the Environmental Policy Statement 2022