HERE is all you need to know about the hosepipe and sprinkler ban announced for South East Water customers in Sussex.

South East Water said the use of a hosepipe or sprinkler will be restricted to "ensure we have enough water for both essential use and to protect the environment".

Why is there a ban?

Figures show this is the driest July on record since 1935 and the period between November 2021 and July 2022 has been the driest eight-month stint since 1976.

“During July in the South East, we have only seen eight per cent of average rainfall for the month, and the long term forecast for August and September is for similar weather,” a South East Water spokesman said.

“The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave.

“We have been producing an additional 120 million litres of water a day to supply our customers, which is the equivalent of supplying a further four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne, daily.”

What are the rules?  

While the ban is in place, you must not:

  • Water a garden using a hosepipe.
  • Clean a private motor vehicle using a hosepipe.
  • Water plants using a hosepipe.
  • Clean a private leisure boat using a hosepipe.
  • Fill or maintain a domestic swimming or paddling pool.
  • Draw water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use.
  • Fill or maintain a domestic pond using a hosepipe.
  • Fill or maintain an ornamental fountain using a hosepipe.
  • Clean walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe.
  • Clean paths or patios using a hosepipe.
  • Clean other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.

When does the ban come into force?

South East Water said the ban will start at 12.01am on Friday, August 12.

Who is affected by the ban?

Around 2.2 million customers across Sussex and Kent will likely be hit by the ban.

The temporary ban applies to all users that are billed by South East Water, as well businesses in the South East Water supply area of Sussex who are billed by their retailer or other appointed company.

The ban also includes customers in Kent.

How long will the ban go on?

A South East Water spokesman said: “It is likely that it will continue until we are confident that the demand for water has reduced back to manageable levels.

“We will keep the position under constant review. This really is just a short temporary measure to help us in these very unusual circumstances.”

What happens if you use your hosepipe during the ban?

Flouting the restrictions could lead to prosecution and a court fine of up to £1,000.

Are there other hosepipe bans in place?

South East Water is the second UK water firm to bring in a hosepipe ban so far this summer.

Last week, Southern Water announced a ban for nearly a million of its customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that comes into force this Friday.

It will mean hosepipes cannot be used to water gardens or clean cars, and ornamental ponds and private swimming pools must not be filled.