Hosepipes and hidden health risks

WaterSafe, the UK register of approved drinking water contractors, is warning households that hosepipes which are incorrectly fitted, or left submerged in places like ponds, watering cans or paddling pools, can cause illness. 

This is because the dirty water can ‘backflow’ into the drinking water supply and has the potential to make you ill.

It has compiled a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts, backed by The Royal Society for Public Health, to keep you and your families safe.


  • Fit an approved double check valve to hosepipes to prevent any water, or contaminants from the garden, ponds or paddling pools, flowing back into your mains drinking water supply
  • Turn off your hosepipe at the tap – and ideally fully disconnect it when not in use
  • Fit a self-closing flow control, such as a trigger spray gun, to prevent it being used when unattended
  • Keep your hose somewhere cool and out of the sun. When you come to use it gently run the water out of the hose without any form of spray attachment on the end
  • Use a watering can instead as it’s much more water-efficient


  • Place hosepipes in drains, garden ponds, buckets or watering cans where they can be submerged, as contaminated water could be siphoned back into your homes’ drinking water pipes
  • Use a hosepipe that has been sitting around and full of warm water to fill a hot tub. The warm water within the tub will allow bacteria to quickly grow.

Need professional help? All WaterSafe approved contractors are specially trained in the laws designed to help keep your home’s drinking water safe and wholesome. You can find your nearest WaterSafe approved contractor at www.watersafe.org.uk