Since June 2011, drought has affected Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and west Norfolk. In February 2012 following a dry winter, Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent, Surrey, London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, the east of Gloucestershire and the remainder of East Anglia are now in drought.
Water companies that are facing an increased risk of drought are taking actions to co-ordinate temporary restrictions on water use, such as hosepipe bans. Many have been taking to the Environment Agency about drought permits as early as possible.
On 12 March 2012, seven water companies (Anglian Water, South East Water, Southern Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Thames Water, Veolia Water Southeast and Veolia Water Central) announced they are consulting on temporary restrictions to be in place by 5 April 2012. For further information on the restrictions see each company’s website.
The Water Use (Temporary Bans) Order 2010 includes:
PART 2 Categories of Use
10. Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hose pipe
11. Filling or maintaining a domestic fountain
However, it does not include a “Domestic Pond in which fish or other aquatic animals are being reared or kept in cavity”
In addition, it does not include an “ornamental fountain which is near a fish pond and whose purpose is to supply sufficient Oxygen to the water in order to keep the fish healthy”
According to DEFRA, fish keepers with Ornamental Ponds are permitted under current ‘Drought Legislation’ to maintain essential water supplies to their existing ponds and tanks which hold Aquatic Livestock and maintain fountains and water jets used to provide the essential Oxygen.
However, we suggest that this exemption is applied prudently. Try to save water whenever you can through structured water changes, use of vegetable filters to reduce Nitrates and attend to any leakages sooner rather than later.
Reading the Regulations, empty domestic ponds (without Aquatic livestock) cannot be filled in areas covered by a hosepipe ban.
The HealthyKoi Team – Rod, Gerry & Dave