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In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

In one of the wettest weeks for a large part of the country (generally the same part of the country suffering from a hosepipe ban), a survey commissioned by Gardman* reveals that there is still widespread confusion about what a hosepipe ban actually means.

With all the publicity it should be clear that you can’t clean a car using a hosepipe and although 70.8% of the respondents said this was wrong, surprisingly 15.6% said it would be okay to use a hosepipe to clean a car and 13.6% professed not to know whether to use one or not.

Causing most confusion seemed to be the question of whether or not you can use a hosepipe to fill a fish pond.  The answers were split broadly three ways: 34.7% said you could, 32.9% said you couldn’t and 32.5% didn’t know.  Most water authorities do allow gardeners to fill up a fish pond with a hosepipe.

And what about a soaker hose fitted to a mains tap – can that be used to water the garden?  Nearly half thought it couldn’t be used, 24% said it could be used and 26.5% said they didn’t know.  In fact, soaker hoses or fixed irrigation systems do get the nod by all water authorities, provided that they have pressure and timer controls fitted.

When asked whether a hosepipe can be used to take stored water from a water butt, for example, to the garden, 58.8% did say yes, but nearly one in five (19.5%) said it wasn’t allowed and 22.1% didn’t know whether it could be used.  (Water that has collected in a water butt from gutters is fine but of course, you can’t fill up a water butt from a hosepipe).

Jane Lawler, marketing director at Gardman, comments, “The low levels in water reservoirs are a serious matter, even though it seems counter intuitive with continual rain and even more rain forecast for the immediate future.  Whether it’s raining or not, it’s clear that there is tremendous confusion of what the hosepipe ban actually means.”

Gardman sells water butts, water retention gels, soaker hoses and timers, pot water savers and capillary matting to help gardeners use water efficiently and it is currently running a Water Saving Promotion in garden centres.

Visit your local water authority website for further clarification of the hosepipe ban in your area.

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