Customers in Buckinghamshire are facing the prospect of a hosepipe ban as Thames Water prepares to bring in a ban "in the coming weeks".

Like many areas in the UK, Buckinghamshire has not seen significant rain for weeks as the hot weather continued over the weekend.

Last Friday, the Environment Agency (EA) declared the region to be in drought with Thames Water's strategy and regulatory affairs director saying that the ban was "ready to go" prior to the announcement

Unlike Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water, Thames Water has not yet brought in a hosepipe ban but instead has been encouraging customers to be more cautious with their water usage.

When will Thames Water bring in a hosepipe ban?

Thames Water has not yet given any clear indication of when they will bring in the ban. The company has only stated it is preparing for one "in the coming weeks".

Other companies have given an advanced warning to customers of a temporary use ban. Last week, Yorkshire Water announced an upcoming ban on Friday (August 12), with restrictions coming into place on August 26.

What is restricted during a hosepipe ban?

In general, a temporary use ban prohibits the use of any hosepipe connected to the mains water supply. However, Thames Water has not detailed the exact restrictions they would put in place.

The ban would mean you cannot water your garden, wash your car, fill a pool or do anything using a hose connected to the mains water supply.

You would be able to use tap water in a bucket to water your garden or wash your car and you would also be able to use a hosepipe if it is connected to a water butt containing rainwater or greywater.

What exceptions are there to a hosepipe ban?

Usually, there are exemptions if the hosepipe is being used for commercial purposes, such as commercial car washes or watering of plants or crops being grown for sale.

There could also be an exception for watering grass used for recreation.

Thames Water has said it will release full details once the ban is properly announced. 

Where are hosepipe bans already in place?

South East Water has introduced a ban for their customers in Kent and Sussex.

Southern Water's customers in Hampshire and the Isle Of Wight are also under a hosepipe ban.

Yorkshire Water's ban will come into force towards the end of the month.

Parts of Wales will see a ban brought in on August 19.