YORKSHIRE Water has become the fifth water company in England and Wales to announce a hosepipe ban owing to the hot and dry conditions. The company says the restrictions will come into effect from August 26.

Yorkshire Water’s director of water, Neil Dewis, said the prolonged heatwave conditions had left the company with little other choice.

“Parts of Yorkshire have seen the lowest rainfall since our records began more than 130 years ago,” he said. “The hot, dry, weather means that Yorkshire’s rivers are running low and our reservoirs are around 20% lower than we would expect for this time of year. We’ve been doing everything we can to avoid putting in restrictions, but unfortunately they’re now necessary as part of our drought planning.

He added: “Our decision to introduce a hosepipe ban is based on the risk that water stocks continue to fall in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long-term river health.”

Under the restrictions, customers are banned from using a hosepipe to water gardens, clean vehicles, fill swimming pools or clean homes. They are permitted to complete those activities with tap water from a bucket or watering can, or using water that is not sourced from taps.

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: “We hope that our customers would respect the ban, if not we do have the ability to enforce the ban and customers could be subject to a £1,000 personal fine. Many customers have already voluntarily been cutting back on using water guzzling devices to do their bit and we are really grateful for that.”

Businesses will be allowed to use a hosepipe only if it is directly related to a commercial purpose.