FAQ: What do I need to know about Temporary Use Bans in the UK?

What is a Temporary Use Ban?

A Temporary Use Ban (TUB) is another term for a hosepipe ban. They mean we must do all we can to save water. Often they only apply to domestic customers and mean they must not use water for anything covered under the Temporary Use Ban. 
This includes the following activities:

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe  
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe 
  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe 
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe  
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool 
  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use 
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe 
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental pond or fountain 
  • Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe;  
  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe 
  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.  

Why are wholesalers applying for Temporary Use Bans? 

The lack of rainfall we're currently experiencing, combined with the hot, dry weather has resulted in significant drops in the water levels in our rivers. Much of the water supplied to homes and business comes from local rivers so wholesalers are asking domestic customers to limit their water usage to reduce the risk of further restrictions and disruption to water supplies, but more importantly to protect our local rivers.

Which wholesalers currently have a Temporary Use Ban in place?

Wholesalers that have applied for a Temporary Use Ban are: 

  • South East Water’s Temporary Use Ban came into effect in Kent and Sussex on 16 June 2023.

I’m a business, does the Temporary Use Ban affect me too?

Several wholesalers are asking business customers to avoid any non-essential water use and act quickly to find and fix leaks as part of their Level 1 drought management plans to help ease the pressure on our resources. This means that although many of the restrictions only apply to domestic and non-commercial water use, some do affect businesses too. For example:

  • Not using hoses and sprinklers on flowers, gardens and green spaces
  • Not using a hosepipe for non-essential needs, like cleaning a path outside your business premises (unless it’s for health and safety reasons)
  • Not cleaning private motor vehicles such as company cars and vans
  • Not filling or topping up an ornamental fountain (unless its use has religious significance)

Where can I find more information? 

More information can be found on your wholesaler’s website.

If you're a Wave customer:

To find out more about current drought restriction phases in England and Wales, please visit the following pages on MOSL's website: