Castle Water Logo

Thames Water Announces Hosepipe Ban – What Does It Mean For Your Business?

Thames Water has announced it will enforce a Temporary Use Ban (TUB), commonly known as a hosepipe ban, from Wednesday 24th August.

The TUB will apply to all customers to whom Thames Water supply water, even if they are not billed directly by Thames Water.

Areas affected are shown on the map below.

What is a TUB?

A TUB restricts the domestic use of hosepipes and anything attached to them, including sprinklers and jet washers for:

  • Watering gardens, allotment or plants
  • Filling or maintaining paddling pools, swimming pools or hot tubs
  • Cleaning vehicles
  • Cleaning windows, walls, paths, patios and other artificial outdoor surfaces like artificial grass
  • Recreational use like water fights and water slides

You can use mains water from a watering can or bucket instead of a hose – but Thames Water encourages its customers to make every drop count to help protect the environment and our precious supplies by only using water where you really need to.

TUB exemptions

Exemptions on TUBs apply where mobility is restricted when making use of a watering can.

Blue Badge holders and those on Thames Water’s Priority Services Register with a mobility issue, can still use a hose for:

  • Watering gardens/allotments and plants
  • Cleaning vehicles
  • Cleaning windows, walls, paths, patios or other artificial outdoor surfaces like artificial grass
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond

If you’re not yet on the Priority Services Register, you can join for free here.

What does the Thames Water hosepipe ban mean for businesses?

Many of the TUB restrictions only apply to domestic and non-commercial water use.

However some of the restrictions do affect businesses too. For example businesses are encouraged by Thames Water:

  • Not to use hoses and sprinklers on gardens and green spaces
  • Not to use a hosepipe for non-essential needs, like cleaning a path outside your business premises (unless it’s for health and safety reasons)
  • Not to clean private motor vehicles such as company cars and vans
  • Not to fill or top up an ornamental fountain (unless its use has religious significance)

For full details of the rules that may affect your business and the exceptions that may apply, please see a copy of the Thames Water legal notice.

Thames Water have been working with businesses throughout the summer to help them reduce their water use and prioritise where necessary, and continue to ask commercial users to use water wisely by:

  • Reducing the total volume of water used wherever possible – for example, through activities such as washing vehicles – particularly in peak periods between 7-9am and 6-8pm
  • Checking for leaks on their site – even a small constant dribble can waste around 400 litres per day – as much as a family of 4 uses over the same time
  • Stopping urinals from flushing overnight – even if they don’t have sensors fitted, turning off the flow to the urinals could save thousands of litres of water
  • Reminding staff about the importance of saving water – everyone can do their bit to help

Get your free water efficiency resources for businesses

How long will the restrictions last?

This will depend on the weather. Prolonged and significant rainfall is required. Thames Water will be monitoring the region’s water levels carefully and will announce when the ban can be lifted. Customers’ help in using water wisely will be vital to helping end the ban.

For more information visit the Thames Water website here. You can also read more about our services here, including business wastewater management and business water services.