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Last Updated: Monday April 03 2006 09:52 GMT

What is a hosepipe ban?

Watering a garden

In parts of the UK where there is a water shortage special rules are brought in to help people use less water. The best known of these is a hosepipe ban.

It means you can't use a hose or sprinkler to water your garden or wash your car. You can still use watering cans and buckets.

In a normal hosepipe ban the rules only apply to private gardens, so places like parks and golf courses can still use sprinklers. It's also okay to top up a pond or swimming pool in your garden.

What if someone breaks the rules?

The companies that supply water expect everyone to follow the rules and save water, if they don't it's taken very seriously. Ignoring the ban can get you a 1,000 fine.

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