FROM TODAY (Thursday April 5) the hosepipe ban is active, meaning you will not be allowed to water your garden or plants, wash your car or fill a pond, or swimming pool with a hosepipe.
Under the ban, you will prohibited from using a hosepipe, although water efficient irrigation systems, such as a drip or trickle systems, are currently allowed.
In an attempt to get around the ban and keep their plants in full bloom throughout the summer, gardeners have caused a boom in water butt sales.
Getcomposting.com, who are working with West Sussex County Council, supply recycling and water conservation products and have recorded a trebling of sales of water butts.
Danny Motts, a customer adviser for getcomposting.com, said they are now taking about 450 orders a day for the water collecting devises, more than triple that of the same time last year.
He said: “At the moment there are a lot more orders, with some people even making orders for four water butts at a time.
“This is down to the hosepipe ban and because it is also because it is spring so people are taking more interest in their gardens, and how to keep them looking good.”
Anyone spotted breaching the hosepipe ban could face a £1,000 fine, although Southern Water is confident they will not need to resort to this.
A Southern Water spokesman said: “Anyone who is aware of someone contravening the ban should call our customer contact centre on the usual number – 0845 278 0845.
“We will then either write to the customer or telephone them to emphasise the importance of the restrictions in our bid to beat the drought.
“If this fails, we would then visit the customer to discuss the restrictions again but this is rarely necessary as people are almost always willing to do their bit to help.
“The ultimate penalty for repeatedly flouting the ban is a £1,000 fine but during the last drought in 2005/6 it was not necessary for us to prosecute anyone.”
For more information on the hosepipe ban and tips on saving water, visit www.southernwater.co.uk or www.southern.savewater.co.uk
How will the ban affect you? Share your story with us - firstname.lastname@example.org