For nearly a quarter of a century, Lourdes Maxwell has celebrated the arrival of summer by putting a paddling pool in the garden.
This year, however, her two grandchildren and the children of her neighbours may have to find another way to cool off in the heat.
Miss Maxwell's local council has decided that the pool - which is only 2ft deep - needs a lifeguard.
The 47-year-old divorced mother of three has also been told she must have insurance before she can inflate the toy outside her house in Portsmouth.
The health and safety edict came after she wrote to the city council asking for permission to put a bigger pool in the communal garden outside her home.
Not only was she told it was too dangerous, but the council told her to empty the existing pool.
After her MP intervened, the local authority softened its stance, saying Miss Maxwell could have a pool if she paid for insurance and ensured supervisors were on constant watch.
Residents near the communal gardens already have to obey a raft of rules governing their use.
They are even supposed to ask the council for permission before having a barbecue.
Miss Maxwell, who is a full-time carer to her son Aiden, said yesterday: "It is absolutely pathetic.
"I have had a paddling pool outside the front of my flat every summer for 24 years, ever since Aiden turned one year old.
"Neighbours' children would come and enjoy the pool and I would give them ice lollies. It was always a very social occasion."
She added: "Now suddenly I'm not allowed.
"I asked around for insurance and they just laughed at me. No one offers insurance for paddling pools.
"I'm always there to supervise but they're trying to tell me I need lifeguards for a kiddies' pool as well - it's crazy."
Nigel Selley, Portsmouth Council's neighbourhood manager, defended the ruling yesterday.
He said: "We did not have sufficient assurances that the risks associated with providing such a facility would be well-managed.
"We have since spoken to Ms Maxwell and she is aware of our concerns for child safety and the risks associated with drowning."
Steven Wylie, the councillor in charge of housing, added: "I want to encourage people to enjoy the communal gardens.
"We want to help where we can to ensure that it is a fun and safe place for everyone to use."
Special Thanks to Daily Mail