Friday, August 5, 2022

What to do if you see your neighbors watering their garden during the garden hose ban?

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A hose ban comes into effect in the South later this month, with some wondering if they can shop from their neighbors if they see them breaking the rules

South East Water has announced it will ban the use of hoses and sprinklers in Kent and East Sussex next week after the driest July on record.

A garden full of wilted flowers with a dry and parched lawn is a depressing thought for many – but it could be the reality for millions in the coming weeks when a garden hose ban comes into effect.

This is worrying news for gardeners who will be worried about heat-damaged grass and wilting plants in the weeks leading up to Monday, August 12, when the ban is in effect until further notice.

Understandably, many will be tempted to take a midnight trip to the garden to secretly give their beloved flowers a splash of moisture in an attempt to keep their flowers lush and vibrant.

Others, however, will be careful not to use water, and instead look out for naughty neighbors who break the rules.

So what would you do if you spy on your neighbor trying to secretly water his roses in the middle of the night? Can you sell them to the authorities, conduct a citizens’ arrest, or would you just let them carry on?

Also, what would happen if you decided your lawn needed a secret spray to bring it back to life?

I takes a look at whether you can report your neighbors, what to expect if you break the ban, and the consequences for watering your plants.

South East Water is restricting the use of hoses and sprinklers in both Kent and Sussex from August 12 and says it has “no choice” after demand for water hit a record high in July.

This means that households in these areas will be prevented from using water hoses to water their gardens, wash cars, patios and boats, and fill swimming and paddling pools.

The ban is in effect until further notice, so people currently don’t know how long it will be before they can water their garden again.

Some companies may allow exceptions to a ban or restriction, such as if you are elderly or disabled, but South East Water has not yet announced any.

First, if you see your neighbor breaking the ban, try talking to them about it and explaining why it’s important to conserve water.

There’s always a chance – albeit unlikely – that they haven’t seen the news and therefore don’t know about the ban.

If that doesn’t work, or you get a hostile response, you can report it to a local authority or your water company. They will likely contact the household directly and ask them to go without water during the ban.

If found to be breaking the rules, they could ultimately be fined £1,000 or even prosecuted in the criminal courts.

However, as annoying as it can be to think your neighbor isn’t following the same rules as everyone else, we’re in for a livelihood crisis and anytime but especially now losing £1,000 is going to take a huge financial hit.

The same rules apply to you as to everyone else. If you decide to use your hose, your neighbors could report you and you could be hit with a hefty fine.

However, it is possible to fill your watering can from the tap as long as it is not your hose.

Unfortunately, you can’t use an outdoor water supply for your garden or to wash your car when it’s banned.

However, you can use water from the inside, so filling up a bucket and taking it outside is probably your best option.

Of course, using a bucket to wash the car and a watering can in the garden uses a lot less water than a hose, which can use more water in an hour than the average family does in a day.

Ihave, with the help of the garden experts from Rated People, given tips on how households can maintain the garden despite the ban on garden hoses.

A spokesman for the Water Consumers Council added: “Don’t worry if your lawn has turned brown in hot weather. Grass is a resilient material and will recover well once we see rain at some point. So don’t waste time, don’t waste water and don’t waste money watering your lawn.”

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