New Council Rules on Hosepipe Usage

I have received communications in regards to the guidance issued for Rule: Schedule 2: Rule 21 (Not to affix any hosepipes to the taps administered by the Council at the Allotment Site other than in accordance with such rules as the Council may establish from time to time) and I would like to this opportunity to explain the reasoning.

The communication was issued to clarify the rule in supporting a reduction in consumption and to move away from a reliance on expensive treated piped water across all our allotment sites.

In 2010/11 the cost of mains supplied water to the allotments was over £50k, outstripping income by £10k. In 2011 a consultation was held with all allotment holders to look at ways of addressing this issue which included a proposal for a substantial rise in allotment fees to cover costs.

Following the consultation and a subsequent discussion with AMAS, it was agreed that by encouraging best practice in managing resources and addressing persistent misuse we could operate more efficiently as an alternative to raising fees.

In supporting the above we feel that the enforcement of the rule will support further reduction in the use of water usage.  The average hosepipe uses 170 litres of water for every 10 minutes that it is turned on. That?s almost 19 flushes of a toilet in just 10 minutes. In one hour a hosepipe will use the same amount of water as a whole family would use in 2 days. We would like our societies to take a lead in addressing this issue.

In the communication it was explained that the council would permit the use of hosepipes to fill water containers for allotment purposes, but emphasised that tenants must not water crops directly from a hosepipe. This is standard allotment guidance throughout the country, as the use of hosepipes can be interpreted as a breach of the tenancy rules.

The correspondence was accompanied by further guidance for plotholders on how to maintain an allotment to a high standard, using the minimum amount of water. I am minded that there may be reasons why an individual plotholder might find it necessary to use a hosepipe and would ask that they raise any such circumstances with the society.

If there is an issue in regards to enforcement or any other related concerns I would advise that you contact the AMAS secretary Colin Pilcher to arrange a meeting with myself to discuss how we can support you.


Kenneth Wilson

Allotment Manager
Community and Cultural Services

We have a published author here at Southern…

AJ otherwise known as Paul – the self acclaimed ‘allotment junkie’. Visit AJ’s website at if you’re interested in his latest book ‘Lost the Plot’…


“A stunningly presented and passionately written narrative which will both enthuse and inspire beginners and provide a fresh perspective for seasoned growers. As a keen ‘allotmenteer’, I enjoyed the rare glimpse into the toils of achieving a perfect plot:  from the initial mammoth task of hacking bramble thickets as dense as the amazonian jungle, to the joy of harvesting your first crop (of often weirdly shaped veg) and finally the contentment of providing an organic alternative for your family. ‘Lost the Plot’ is packed full of exquisite photographs, constructive advice, positive reflection and enthusiastic ambition.”

Chris – Committee Chair, Southern Allotments Manchester.