THE company which supplies Basingstoke with water is allowing its customers with hosepipe bans to fill up a hot tub and clean out a wheelie bin, but not water an allotment.

South East Water introduced Temporary Use Bans (TUBs) earlier this month in Sussex and Kent.

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It is yet to impose any restrictions in Basingstoke. However, with other water companies, including Thames Water, recently announcing restrictions, South East Water has not ruled out extending its hosepipe ban to cover Basingstoke and said it will “continue to monitor the situation”.

Here, we take a look at what is and isn’t allowed if South East Water decides to impose a TUB on Basingstoke.

Most hosepipe bans restrict the following under the Water Industry Act 1991:

• Water a garden using a hosepipe

• Clean a private motor vehicle using a hosepipe

• Water plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe

• Clean a private leisure boat using a hosepipe

• Fill or maintain a domestic swimming or paddling pool

• Draw water or use a hosepipe for domestic recreational use

• Fill or maintain a domestic pond using a hosepipe

• Fill or maintain an ornamental fountain

• Clean walls, or windows, or domestic premises using a hosepipe

• Clean paths or patios using a hosepipe

• Clean other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe

However, a loophole means that hot tubs are not affected by these restrictions, because they do not fall under the same category as a domestic swimming pool.

South East Water said that while hot tubs are not restricted, it urges its customers to “wait until cooler weather and demand for water reduces for any water use that isn’t really necessary”.

The ban does not apply to wheelie bins and South East Water advises customers that they can continue to use a hose to clean these out.

However, it adds: “We would ask you to consider the current situation that we are in and ask that you conserve water wherever possible.”

Regarding allotments, these fall under the category of ‘garden’ and customers are therefore not allowed to use a hose to water these.

Those with fish ponds in their garden are allowed to use a hosepipe to top up the water “where this is unavoidable and for the welfare of the fish”.

Customers are also allowed to use a hosepipe to water a lawn if it is 'newly laid turf’.

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The rules allow people to use a hosepipe to water newly laid turf in domestic gardens for 28 days after planting or laying to help them establish.

South East Water said customers must be able to provide evidence of the date on which the gardening work was completed, and that failure to do this or watering for longer than 28 days will be considered a breach.

However, it urged people to “wait for cooler weather to lay new turf” when demand for water has reduced.