Hosepipe bans relaxed in the south east

June 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

The very dry weather over the winter saw seven large water firms impose hosepipe bans at the beginning of April. However, following a month of record rainfall, Thames Water and the six other firms to impose the bans have announced a slight relaxation for horticultural businesses.

Turf companies, landscaping firms and other gardening businesses will now be able to water plants and turf that they lay for up to 28 days following planting, in a move which is likely to be a huge relief to many companies.

However, despite the relaxation in the rules, the water shortage problem is still severe because groundwater levels are still very low and the hosepipe ban will remain in place for other water customers in the south of England.

On April 5, seven water firms restricted the use of hosepipes, but the rest of the month then saw two-and-a-half times the average amount of rainfall which led to the easing of the restrictions.

Gardening firms suffer badly under hosepipe bans, and Richard Aylard from Thames Water said that they are “relieved to be in a position to take this step”.

Horticultural firms had been worried that the restrictions could even lead to fewer contracts and the loss of jobs, which is not what the industry needs in these difficult economic times. According to ITV News, the Turfgrass Growers Association reported sales dropping 60% following the introduction of the hosepipe ban.

The lifting of restrictions will come as a relief to many, but the BBC recently reported on a turf supplier from Bedfordshire who claims that the easing of restrictions have done nothing for his business.

Giles Talwell claimed that Anglian Water’s decision to relax hosepipe usage for turf companies only applies when the turf is professionally laid. If his customers lay the turf themselves they are not allowed to water it for the following 28 days, and this has led to a fall in sales of 80%.

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