Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Business reaps benefits of Sussex hosepipe ban
1:00pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Business News
Businesses are cashing in on the hosepipe ban.
Sussex garden centres have seen a surge in sales of water butts as the hosepipe ban takes root, and owners of car wash facilities are also hoping for a spike in visits.
Robbie Raggio, owner of the car wash at Hove Station, said he did not think that the ban would alter everybody’s behaviour.
He said: “I have seen a few of these hosepipe bans and I think that people who wash their own cars will let them be dirtier for longer.”
Paradise Park in Newhaven has had increased requests for water storage vessels from customers desperate to prepare themselves for a shortage of hydration for their plants over the summer months.
Mark Gilbert, sales director, said the garden centre is ensuring that it has good stocks of micro irrigation systems as these are exempt from the hosepipe ban which came into force on April 5. He said: “Customers are already worrying about how their plants will be watered through the summer.
Most of them are buying water butts, sometimes two or three, to catch any rain we do receive, and also to store grey water from domestic activities such as washing up.
“There are certain plants that require far less water than others, though it is important to water them in well when they are planted. Our plant doctor is on site every weekend to advise customers if they need a few tips on water saving in the garden.”
Sarah Parsons, retail manager at South Downs Nurseries, in Brighton Road, Hassocks, said: “With the hosepipe ban in place, we are receiving hundreds of enquiries with customers in store and by phone enquiring about drip irrigation systems, water butts and water retaining crystals for pots and hanging baskets. We are also giving advice to customers on drought-tolerant plants.
“Although we have had rainfall in the last couple of days with more to come, we will need a lot more rainfall before the hosepipe ban is lifted. We are hoping to keep up with the demand for water butts and other products to beat the drought.”
Pete Webster, owner of A Klass Mobile Valeting in Saltdean Vale, said his business had seen an uplift since the hosepipe ban was introduced.
He said: “I have noticed that some of my regulars are leaving it a bit longer to get their cars cleaned but business has picked up.” But Phil Edwards, owner of Brighter Glass Professional Cleaning Services in Hereward Road, Eastbourne, said he would not rely on the ban to boost sales. He said: “People know we are here to do a good job for them regardless of the hosepipe ban.”