Do hosepipe bans apply to my hot tub?


With all the hot weather we’ve had recently, hosepipe bans seem to be in the news a lot and different areas of England are being affected by them. But how does this affect you, your hot tub installation and maintenance? We’re here to help you out…

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) are responsible for the quality of drinking water as well as management of water resources. They are in charge of water policies in the UK, and your utility supplier must enforce them.  

What is a hosepipe ban?

A hosepipe ban is an official restriction on the use of hosepipes, imposed by a particular water company on its customers during a water shortage. This is to prevent wasteful water usage and to reserve water for essentials such as drinking water, flushing toilets and firefighting. Some exemptions do apply with regards to disabilities and businesses, so it may be worth double-checking with your utility supplier. Luckily, hot tubs are part of that exemption too!


Swim spas are included in the same category as swimming pools. During a hosepipe ban, you are allowed to fill a brand new swimming pool to prevent damage, but you are not allowed to top up or change the water in existing swim spas, unless you use a bucket or watering can. If you have a dual chamber swim spa (swim chamber with hot tub on the end), the hot tub would be treated the same as a normal stand-alone hot tub and can be filled and topped up during a hosepipe ban. However, the chamber must be treated like a swimming pool and cannot be filled or topped up, unless it is brand new or by using a bucket or watering can.

HOT TUBS – updated 1st May 2023

The majority of water companies agree that you can continue to enjoy, use and maintain your hot tub during a hose pipe ban, but guidance does sometimes change so it is always worth checking with your supplier.

 Water UK, the membership body of the water industry, published a document called “Managing Through Drought” in 2013 where is says, “Hot Tubs should remain outside the scope of restrictions, on the assumption that the household is fitted with a water meter, if it draws water from a public supply," however it does depend on the severity of the drought so always check with your water company. 


What is a drought order?

Drought permits and drought orders allow more flexibility to manage water resources and the effects of drought on public water supply and the environment in the case of extremely low rainfall. If a drought order was brought into effect, you would no longer be able to use your hose pipe to fill or top up your hot tub. Instead, you could use a bucket or watering can.

Rules and advice does differs between utility suppliers so it is always best to refer to their websites before refilling your hot tub. 

If you need any more information on using your hot tub during hosepipe bans (or anything else for that matter!) get in touch with our team of experts on 01276 477461 or