Can you use a watering can in a hosepipe ban?

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Highs of up to 35C are expected next week, forecasters said, and although temperatures will remain lower than last month’s scorching 40+ degrees, temperatures are dry weather will last for a “long period of time”.

So how can you keep tending your garden if you can’t provide your thirsty plants with the usual amount of water from a garden hose?

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Could irrigation be the answer?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Do watering cans use less water than hose lines?

Watering cans are a long-established water-saving technique when it comes to topping up garden plants with water during hot spells.

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At first glance, it might seem like a watering can uses about as much water as a garden hose.

But watering cans are a much more controlled way of adding water to a plant, and can be aimed much more carefully than the random mist from a spray nozzle.

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(Photo: DIRK WAEM/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

The whole point of banning hoses and sprinklers is that they tend to be left on for long periods of time and waste a lot of water.

Being forced to use a watering can or bucket reduces the possibility of overuse of water.

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A full watering can can still hold gallons of precious water, so can it be used during a hose ban?

Are watering cans allowed during a hose ban?

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Luckily the helpful folks at hosepipeban.org are here to provide some clarity.

“Under previous hose and sprinkler bans, using watering cans, buckets and other water-carrying implements to water the garden or wash the car, for example, was perfectly acceptable,” they say.

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The same also applies to any current bans in 2022. This also applies to cans of all sizes, large or small.

But they add: “During a ban you should always check with your local water company to see the specific rules, which of course they have.”

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Can I fill my watering can with a hose?

In fact, there’s even a way to technically use a hose during a hose ban, all perfectly legal. If you use it to fill your watering can…

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“It has also historically been widely accepted by water companies that a short length of hose connected to a faucet can be used to fill the watering can/bucket,” says hosepipban.org.

“So you’re actually using a hose during a hose ban!”

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Where do hose bans apply?

The current drought wave has led to this southern water introduce a hose ban Hampshire and in the Isle of Wight on Friday (5 August).

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South East Water introduces household restrictions kent and Sussex from next Friday (12th August) and Welsh Water are introducing a ban Pembrokeshire from 19.08.

Under the Floods and Water Management Act 2010, water utilities have the legal power to restrict the use of water.

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Anyone flouting these rules could be prosecuted in criminal court and fined up to £1,000 – although water companies say they prefer “education to enforcement”.

It looks increasingly likely that more garden hose bans will be introduced across the UK in the coming weeks.

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Little rain is forecast for next week at least, while another heatwave is set to hit the south of England in the coming days, and Environment Secretary George Eustice has urged water companies to take action.

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