South West Water is urging customers to reduce non-essential water usage by extending the Temporary Use Ban, otherwise known as a hosepipe ban, to cover South West Water's Roadford supply area.

The restrictions are being introduced to protect supplies following lower than average levels of rainfall last year and throughout February and restrictions are already in place in Cornwall and parts of North Devon.

Cornwall, Devon and the Isles of Scilly remain officially in drought status as declared by the Environment Agency.

The hosepipe ban will apply to customers in South West Water’s Roadford supply area and will come into effect from Tuesday 25 April 2023 at 00:01.      

Reservoir levels fell to their lowest recorded level last year and storage at Roadford Lake is currently around 27% lower than it was at the same time in 2022, the equivalent to nearly 3,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  

Activities covered by the hosepipe ban include using hosepipes to water gardens or clean cars.  

Customers can still undertake the above activities without using a hosepipe if they use tap water from a bucket or watering can; or use water that is not sourced from taps such as grey water, rainwater from a water butt, or a private borehole, for example.  

The company is supporting the region’s customers, businesses and visitors in reducing non-essential water use through its Save Every Drop campaign, as well as working hard to protect supplies, including investing an additional £75 million this year in water resilience schemes to bring new water sources online.  

As well as access to advice and tips on how to save every drop, such as taking showers instead of baths or not running the tap when brushing teeth, customers can access free water-saving devices including shower regulators, leaky loo detectors and water butts from South West Water’s website. 

The company has doubled its number of leak detection colleagues in the last two years, helping to find and fix up to 2,500 leaks a month, using innovative satellite technology and even leak detection dogs to keep leakage levels as low as possible.   

With around 30% of leaks in the region occurring on customers’ private supplies, South West Water is helping customers to detect leaks on their property, and will fix them, free of charge. Anyone who thinks they may have a leak on their property can get in touch through the website.  

Since April 2022, South West Water has allocated over £100,000 of funding to support nearly 50 projects in the region through water-saving schemes to save approximately 11 million litres of water each year as part of its Water Saving Community Fund.  

David Harris, South West Water’s drought and resilience director, said: “We know that last year and into this year our customers have made a real effort to be responsible in their water use and we thank them for that. It has made a difference and we ask them to continue saving water whenever they can.  

“We continue to explore all options and take all necessary steps to ensure we protect supplies and the environment, bringing new supplies safely online, finding and fixing three times more leaks than last year and helping customers and businesses reduce their water usage. 

“However, despite our interventions and investments, and the fantastic efforts of our customers, the region’s water resources are under immense and increasing pressure. Introducing a hosepipe ban is the responsible thing for us to do and going into the summer period is the right time to do it.” 

The temporary use ban will not apply to blue badge holders or those on South West Water’s priority register. Businesses and farmers are unaffected. 

More information about what these temporary measures mean for households and which areas it applies to can be found at