Published on 21 - June - 2011
Hosepipe ban code revisedThe HTA has welcomed the revised Code of Practice offering new guidance on water use restrictions water companies can impose during shortages.
The number of uses to which hosepipe bans are applied has been extended, and now includes filling a swimming pool, cleaning a private boat, cleaning walls or windows of domestic properties and cleaning paths and patios.
The revision to the code, produced by UK Water Industry Research, stresses the need for water companies to take simple and proportional steps to restrict water use, as well as the importance of clear communication with their customers before water restrictions are imposed.
Since the widespread drought in 2006, the HTA has lobbied to prevent what it calls "disproportionate and damaging effects" to the garden industry of blanket hosepipe bans.
There are several references in the code to HTA proposals for better water management, says the organisation, including a phased approach which could be implemented by companies according to drought levels reached. This could include permitting use at certain times of day, to different customers on different days or to groups of customers for a certain time slot.
HTA director general David Gwyther said: "The new Code of Practice advocates a more flexible approach to water restrictions than the previous imposition of a crude hosepipe ban. This is both welcome and sensible. I am pleased that Government and the water industry are listening to our concerns.
"The next step is to develop the national model of phased water restrictions in the garden which we hope to pilot with several water companies next year. This would help soften the seasonal spike and help water companies manage their supply and demand ratios more effectively. And it would better the enormous economic, social and environmental benefits that gardening brings to the nation."
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