Frustration continues to grow over interpretation of hosepipe ban rules

Frustration within the turf and landscape industries continues to grow over water companies' interpretation of hosepipe ban exemptions.

Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) chief executive Tim Mudge said in a letter to HW (published next week) that a code of practice including exemptions for water use on newly-laid turf agreed after 2006's drought has been "ignored" by the seven companies.

He added that the "blunt instrument" of temporary use bans is having a "major effect" on turf companies. The TGA is collating information to show the impact.

BALI technical director Neil Huck said because the bans were still in place, the recent extended wet weather had not seen a change in confidence of people wanting landscaping done.

Huck said water companies are refusing use of hosepipes in commercial landscaping. "We are going back to Water UK to say the legislation states the hosepipe ban shouldn't apply to commercial schemes," Huck added. "We're waiting for a legal test case, which could prove interesting."

HTA policy manager Gary Scroby said a landscape industry meeting on 3 May would thrash out the issues but he was waiting for the details of a Thames Water plan to use non-potable water after a meeting on 10 April.

Nigel Long, managing director at Surrey-based Longacres Nursery, said cold and wet weather obscured any effect on retail sales of hosepipe bans since they were introduced on 5 April.

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