UK hosepipe ban: How much will YOUR water bill cost if you use hosepipe during heatwave?

Temperatures are soaring across the UK, with highs of 27C forecast to hit the south of England on Wednesday. The heat will continue towards the end of the week and into June, with the Met Office warning parts of the UK will reach the “heatwave threshold”.

According to the Met Office, a UK heatwave threshold is met when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold.

With many of us at home for most of the day due to the lockdown conditions – using water more often is unavoidable.

During periods of warm weather, often the temptation is to use the hosepipe to water the plants, fill a paddling pool or just to cool off.

However, this can be costly – with running water through a hosepipe an expensive way to access H20.

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It’s not all bad news however, as according to Water UK, the average water bill for a UK household from April will drop from £413.33 to £396.60.

For some, water bills are measured either by a meter on a monthly or quarterly basis.

However, others pay a certain amount each year to their water company and then can use an unlimited amount.

To water a garden using a hosepipe on average it costs around £1.50 worth of water, per hour.

A Thames Water spokesman told running a hosepipe for an hour would use, on average, the same amount of water used by a family of four in an entire day.

In stark contrast, opting to use a watering can is a whole £1 cheaper, costing around 50p per hour to use.

If a hosepipe ban comes into place, those who breach the restrictions could be fined up to £1,000.

In May so far, much of the South-East has had less than two millimetres of rain this and some parts of the UK drier than the Sahara Desert.

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Laghouat, a camel oasis in the Algerian Sahara, on average sees 36mm of rain between the middle of March and late May.

With the hot weather and lack of rain in recent weeks, some water companies are urging their customers to save water and think before they use.

Affinity Water in the South of England sent a text message to customers on Friday asking them to only use what they need.

Affinity Water supplies Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing and Enfield.

The message read: “With hot weather and more people at home, demand for water has significantly increased, so you may experience lower pressure than usual.

“Let’s work together and only use what we need so pressures can return to normal.”

As well as linking to its website for tips on saving water at home, Affinity also added: “Remember to keep hydrated during the warm weather and continue to follow Government guidelines on hand-washing to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Tips for saving water

1. Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables of dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.

2. Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.

3. Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.

4. Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can use as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.

5. If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.

6. Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.

7. Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.

8. Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.

9. Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

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