Hosepipe ban comes into force today...with £1,000 fines threatened.

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Hosepipe ban
Hosepipe ban

From 5pm today, Islanders are being told to pack away their hosepipes to help save water in this driest of summers...or face a £1,000 fine.

Southern Water (SW) has introduced a Temporary Use Ban on watering gardens, filling paddling pools and cleaning cars among other things.

The ban comes as the Met Office released data showing that July was the driest on record with no prospect of any respite in the coming days as temperatures climb again over the next few days.

But one IW councillor told the County Press the utility giant needed to be brought to account for the poor leakage record in its water infrastructure.

Labour's Cllr Richard Quigley said it was no surprise there was a ban coming in.

He said: "I don’t think many of us will be surprised that SW are implementing a hosepipe ban, what frustrates me is the response to the millions of litres of water lost through leaks, isn’t as rapid or definite.

"The lack of investment in the infrastructure on the Island has led to continuous disruption to Island residents."

Isle of Wight County Press: Alfie Saunders gets ready for the ban by using his watering can.
Isle of Wight County Press: Alfie Saunders gets ready for the ban by using his watering can.

Alfie Saunders gets ready for the ban by using his watering can. However, SW said it was investing heavily in cutting leakage and introducing innovative measures to save water.

What have Southern Water said about the Isle of Wight ban?

Announcing the banning order, SW said: "One of our region’s driest years for a century and highest ever temperatures have caused a drought that threatens to damage the precious habitats of the River Test and River Itchen.

"To ensure everyone works together to protect our rivers, a TUB, or hosepipe ban as they are commonly known, will be implemented from today (Friday) for customers in Hampshire and the IW.

"This will be the first time a TUB has been seen in the region since 2012."

Under the terms of this measure, using hosepipes to water gardens or clean cars will no longer be permitted and ornamental ponds and swimming pools must not be filled.

Southern Water's public notice about the TUB says people contravening the ban could face a fine of up to £1,000.

How can you protect your garden from drought?

Ray Harrington-Vail, of the IW's Footprint Trust, pointed to exemptions from the ban for those with disabilities and suggested going to the Southern Water website for details.

Water-saving tips Ray suggested included:

  • Using mulch around plants helps stop evaporation and locks moisture into soil. Isle of Wight Compost is an excellent mulch, as is homemade compost.

  • Choosing plants that need little or no water such as lavenders, thyme, rock rose and iceplant.

  • Use hanging baskets which contain reservoirs or use water retaining crystals, available from gardening centres.

  • Bury bottom ten per cent of planters in the ground.

  • Install waterbutts for when it does rain.

  • Use waste water on garden.

  • Shower for only four minutes, to the song It's Raining Men!

Read more: Five more ways to save water during the ban

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