Hosepipe Ban SPATA Update

Hosepipe Ban SPATA Update: Latest Industry Update on Hosepipe ban
Water Conservation

SPATA (Swimming Pools and Allied Trades Association) has been advising members about proposed changes to the use of water when there are shortages in this Water Conservation factsheet. The UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR) has recently published materials for water companies on implementing water use restrictions to manage demand during times of drought.

The document relates to a couple of key areas :

1. Temporary bans on water use, as provided for in Section 76 of the Water Industry Act 1991, as amended by Section 36 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010;

2. The Water Use (Temporary Bans) Order 2010, which is a statutory instrument providing definitions of

words and phrases and certain exceptions to the categories of water use in Section 76 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (as amended by the FWMA 2010 and:

3. Ordinary drought orders as provided for in Sections 73 to 81 and Schedules 8 and 9 of the Water Resources Act 191 and detailed in the updated Drought Direction 2011. This Code of Practice applies to both England and Wales, while Scotland has the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The Code of Practice does not extend to Northern Ireland, but there is discussion about whether it will be used as industry best practice, so please be sure to check with your relevant Water Authority.

These water use restrictions were commonly known as “sprinkler or hose pipe bans” and “non essential use bans”; the 2010 legislation uses the term “temporary bans on water use”.

Through this legislation, more activities that use water can be included and so there will be an impact on indoor and outdoor domestic swimming pools, but please note that Hot Tubs have not been included in this legislation. It is feasible that swim spas could be included as a type of swimming pool, although this view would need to be tested.

No longer will a drought order need to be applied for, to prevent the topping up of domestic pools by hose pipes, or fixed plumbing (but please note that hand held containers, such as buckets are permitted). Non domestic swimming pools, such as hotels and holiday pools are being included in restrictions when there is a

Drought Order.

From the Water Use (Temporary bans) Order 2010, the following are not to be treated as falling within the category of use in section 76(2)(e) of the Act – (1)

a) filling or maintaining a pool where necessary in the course of its construction;

b) filling or maintaining a pool using a hand-held container which is filled with water drawn directly from a tap;

c) filling or maintaining a pool that is designed, constructed or adapted for use in the course of a programme of medical treatment;

d) filling or maintaining a pool that is used for the purpose of decontaminating animals from infections or disease;

e) filling or maintaining a pool that is used in the course of a programme of veterinary treatment;

f) filling or maintaining a pool in which fish or other aquatic animals are being reared or kept in captivity.

(2) In that section, “domestic swimming or paddling pool” means a swimming or paddling pool, other than a pool that is being used for the purpose of a business, which is –

a) in a building, or part of a building, used principally as a dwelling; or

b) on any land or in any building that is used or enjoyed in connection with a building, or part of a building, mentioned in sub-paragraph (a)

It appears that there may be some flexibility for concessions where swimming pools are fitted with covers (as evaporation losses will be lower); pools fitted with approved water conservation or recycling systems, pools that are subject to significant repair and renovation.

The following ideas have been suggested by the SPATA Technical Committee to assist customers in keeping pools in operation during the period of a temporary ban on water use:

• Keep floating covers on the water surface whenever swimming has stopped to reduce evaporation (and cooling). We have estimated that evaporation will account for approximately 3mm per day; this equates to 220 litres based on a domestic pool measuring 40’ by 20’, with water depth from 3ft 6” to 7ft 6”, or 12.2 m by 6.01 m with water from 1.01 m to 2.29m. The volume of such a pool is 121 cubic metres and the surface area is 73.3 square metres.

• Maintain lower pool water temperatures, to reduce evaporation and minimise the effect of algae etc.

• Water can be abstracted by companies from other areas and brought in by tanker to fill the pool. Costs for

receiving a tanker with 10m³ (or 10,000 litres) of water will vary depending upon the location, with more

remote sites potentially costing more than other areas. But prices are likely to be in the range of £400 – £550 + VAT.

• An option may be to hire a water bowser.

• Supply a cartridge filter to temporarily replace the sand filter, or in some instances it may be appropriate to use both.

• When replacing liners or doing repairs, re-cycle the water via a holding tank.

• Consider installing rainwater harvesting tanks, this may be even more relevant for a new build as the underwater tanks can be planned as part of the overall design. The water will need to be filtered and treated before being used in the pool.

• Reinforce the need to reduce the amount of water splashed out of the pool by users as this increases evaporation loss to the surround.

• Backwash in the normal manner for approximately 2 minutes fortnightly with an approximate water discharge of up to 1,000 litres.

• Under the Water Act 2003, it is currently legal for a land or house owner to drill a bore hole and extract up to 20,000 litres of water per day, without needing a licence. However, you do need to apply for Section 32 consent and the actual form (called WR 32) is available from the Environment Agency by emailing PSCWaterResources@environment-agency.gov.uk. There is no cost for the consent, but you may be asked to undertake a survey of the water features in your local area (such as other people that have boreholes) but you will be given advice by the Environment Agency.

Please note: although no abstraction licence is needed for less than 20m3/day of water, there may be other constraints, for example around planning, or common law rights of others who may be impacted, that should be investigated by anyone thinking of drilling a borehole.

SPATA advises its members to discuss other water saving options with distributors who may have other suggestions for how they can help your customers reduce water consumption and SPATA will be liaising with the relevant Government department (DEFRA) and also the Environment Agency to update this factsheet for members when it is aware of any changes.

SPATA reminds its members that no responsibility can be taken by SPATA, its employees or agents in respect of any errors or omissions from this factsheet.

This version of M7 dated 12 March 2012

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