Hosepipe ban causes 'irritation' for pubs

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Inconvenient: South-East Water confirms temporary hosepipe ban for Kent and Sussex following heatwaves (Credit: Getty/Dariia Havriusieva)
Inconvenient: South-East Water confirms temporary hosepipe ban for Kent and Sussex following heatwaves (Credit: Getty/Dariia Havriusieva)

Related tags Health and safety Kent Sussex Social responsibility

South-East Water has confirmed a hosepipe and sprinkler ban across Sussex and Kent in an “inconvenient” move for pubs.

The temporary water restrictions, due to begin on Friday 12 August, follow last month’s heatwaves and record high temperatures, with Kent having had the driest July since records began in 1986 and Sussex having seen the lowest level of rainfall in the county since 1911, according to the water supply company.

South-East Water CEO David Hinton said: “As the long-term forecast for August and September is for similar weather, we are taking this step to introduce temporary restrictions on the use of hosepipes and sprinklers to make sure we have enough water for our customers’ essential use.”

Licensee of the Dog at Wingham in Canterbury, Kent, Marc Bridgen explained a hosepipe ban in the area would cost the pub time more than anything as the gardens would require maintaining with a watering can.

Significant impact 

However, the operator warned if the extreme weather caused further restrictions this would be a “nightmare” for pubs.

He said: “A hosepipe ban is one thing, if South-East Water starts to run out of water, then that has massive implications.

“If it's simply hosepipe ban, [it will have] little to no impact, if they were to start rationing and restricting water, that would be a nightmare. If it went further into tighter restrictions or limiting us that would have significant impact on our business.”

Bridgen added he had already considered asking overnight guests to take shorter showers and encourage employees to be mindful of water usage to “do their bit”.

However, Frisco Group managing director Heath Ball stated while he has had to use water more efficiently since the hot weather arrived, for example by using water left in carafes and glasses to water the plants rather than pour it away, a hosepipe ban was an “irritation” in lieu of the sector’s current worries.

Other pressures 

Ball said: “If the hosepipe ban is put into place, it will be inconvenient, but only an irritation compared to the other pressures we are facing such as inflation, rising fuel bills and reluctance from the Government to support the sector with a VAT break and a review of our rating system.”

South-East Water stated despite having produced an additional 120m litres of water a day, the demand for water had broken all previous records, leaving the company with “no choice” but to restrict water usage.

Furthermore, the company said it had seen a 50% increase in pipe bursts due to the dry ground.

Hinton added: “With the lack of rainfall, the environment is under considerable pressure with our underground water aquifers below average for the time of year across Kent and Sussex and raw water reservoirs also at a lower level for the time of year.

“By taking this action now we will be able to reduce the amount of water we take from already stressed local water sources.”

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