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Hose pipe ban fines.

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Just a general query at the moment.


Can a water utility actually fine someone if they break a hosepipe ban? I have always thought that as they are private companies they have no right to do so?


Or am I wrong?


Thank you.



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If you break the rules of a hosepipe ban, you can be prosecuted in a criminal court and fined up to £1,000, under the Water Industry Act 1991 section 76, as amended by the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.


A statement on the United Utilities website reads: “We hope that our customers would respect the ban, if not we do have the ability to enforce the ban and you could be subject to a £1,000 personal fine.



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Any organisation which has the ability to prosecute you through the courts (the police, transport authorities, etc.) may offer you an out-of-court disposal. The police, for example, offer motorists caught speeding a course and transport concerns may agree to an out-of-court financial settlement for fare evasion. None of these have any legal standing and they are not "fines". The police have specific powers to offer fixed penalties for some motoring offences and these include the endorsement of the driver's licence with penalty points as well as a financial penalty. Provision for this is made under statute, but the penalties are not "fines". Apart from one or two exceptions (such as financial conduct authorities for example) only a court can impose a "proper" fine (though of course the effect is the same on the person paying the money, whatever it is called). I'm not sure if water authorities offer fixed penalties for those breaking hosepipe bans.

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Just to clarify, I haven't had a 'fine' but I do have a malicious neighbour who would report me even though I wouldn't break a ban.

Thanks for the replies.

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Neighbour reporting you is not enough evidence for them to prosecute you. The water co would have to catch you in breach of the rule.

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