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21 March 2012, Industry bodies raise hosepipe ban concerns to water companies

The various trade and professional bodies that represent the UK’s landscape and gardening industry have co-ordinated a unified response to the proposed temporary use bans that Thames Water announced on 13 March. The temporary use (formerly hosepipe) bans have the potential to cause enormous commercial damage to those involved in supplying and delivering landscape services.

Signatories to the letter to Thames Water include the Horticultural Trades Association, the Association for Professional Landscapers, the British Association of Landscape Industries, the Landscape Institute, the Society for Garden Designers, the Turfgrass Growers Association and the Royal Horticultural Society. The joint response highlights the potential impacts of the ban on the domestic and commercial landscape sector, with reports of cancelled or delayed contracts already emerging before the ban is even in place.

The signatory organisations have asked Thames Water to provide concessions to allow landscape businesses to continue to use hosepipes in the delivery of their business, and to allow for newly laid turf and plants to be watered in for 28 days. The first concession would be consistent with Thames Water’s proposed concession to allow private car wash and window cleaning business to continue using hosepipes as a service to customers.

To demonstrate commitment to water efficiency, the letter to Thames also proposes a Code of Practice for all signatories to promote to their members with practical guidance on water saving measures. Members would in turn advise their clients on water-efficient techniques and equipment, and encourage them to adopt such advice to achieve long-term water savings.

The Thames Water consultation closes today. A similar letter will be sent to the other six companies that have announced temporary use bans from 05 April.

The letter can be viewed at www.the-hta.org.uk/water