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A water butt can help you out when there is a hosepipe ban.

Could your region be next to face restrictions on water usage or a hosepipe ban?

hosepipe sprayer with blue head spraying water in a garden

With July 2022 been one of the hottest and driest July's on record with just 24% of the average rainfall at 15.8mm (0.6in) and temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius its no surprise that reservoirs are  well below average and our green Great British landscape is looking dry and scorched. 

With many water authorities imposing hosepipe bans and restrictions on water usage including Southern water, Manx Utilities, Welsh Water and South East Water with Thames water issuing notifications that if rainfall doesn't increase restrictions will soon apply in London and surrounding areas. Yorkshire Water is now the 5th company to issue a hosepipe ban which will come in to force 26th April 2022, 

What does a hosepipe ban mean? A hosepipe ban means that the use of water outdoors is restricted, the goal of a hosepipe ban is to conserve water for activities deemed less essential by asking customers to reduce their daily water usage to make sure that there is enough water for drinking, showering, fire fighters and  environmental remediation. during a hosepipe ban persons reported using hosepipes or sprinkles without prior authorisation to do so may face fines.

Water authorities across the UK are engaging with their customers to get across simple changes we can all make in our daily lives to save water.

Some ways to save water inside the house are :-

  • Turn the tap off when brushing teeth so not to run water down the sink.
  • Have a shower instead of a bath which can half the water usage compared to taking baths.
  • Use a bowl to wash dishes/fruit/vegetables this water can then be saved and used to water plants in the garden or house.

Some ways to save water in the garden :-

  • Install a water butt in your garden, the water collected will be an ambient temperature which is perfect for plants and seedlings. its also great for topping up ponds, birdbaths and water dishes for small mammals. 
  • Use a watering can, filling a watering can and watering just the plants that require water will use much less that having a hosepipe running.
  • Apply mulch over your boarders, this is great for locking moisture in keeping your plants happy for longer between watering or rainfall.

The UK has faced several years of hotter dryer summers, its time for everyone one to try save water when and where they can, taking small steps by everyone can make a big difference to the overall amount of water used within a region. Whether its switching to a shower or installing a water butt there is something everyone can do to reduce their water usage.


 

 

 

 

 

Water butts over the drier months.

In long dry spells you may need to top up the water in the Planter trays that the side and top planters take their water from. Hopefully you can use water stored in the Rainwater Terrace but if not just use tap water. Each tray holds about 2.5 litres of water before it overflows into the container below.

 

water butt planter with capillary wicks topped up in summer months

Saving rainwater in the garden

Saving water in the garden can sometimes be difficult especially on hot dry summer days, here's a few tips to get you started.
  • Install a water butt. You will be grateful for hundreds of liters of free natural rainwater to keep your plants and lawn hydrated.

  • Use mulch around your plants, this stops the soil becoming dry in the first place and decreases evaporation on warm days.

  • Reseach drought tolerant plants, its good to have a few plants in the garden that dont require regular watering. Some examples are :- Echinacea, Ceanothus, Geranium and Red hot poker.

  • Lawns: It can be difficult keeping a lawn green in the summer months try raising your cut height this will keep some extra moisture in also reducing the frequency of mowing can help protect your lawn fro drying out. 

  • With watering little and often doesn't always do the job as the water evaporates and only reaches the top level of soil which encourages the roots to grow upwards.  A good soak every 7-10 days is more effective as the water travels deeper in to the soil saturating the ground.