Help stop illegal hydrant use in your local area
If you've recently had dirty water from your taps this could be due to someone nearby using hydrants illegally. We've got some more helpful information on what to do if you spot someone using a hydrant, and how to tell if they're using the water illegally.
Some individuals and companies directly access our main water pipes through fire hydrants to take water without our permission. This activity is illegal, and is a criminal offence. It can also affect your water supply, making it appear dirty, lower the pressure and sometimes you can have no water at all.
We’ve recently had reports of our fire hydrants being used without our permission in residential and industrial areas in parts of our region. This is causing many problems for you, most commonly meaning that you have dirty and discoloured tap water. We take this very seriously and are working hard with our approved equipment partner Aquam Water Services to investigate those responsible for disrupting supply and stopping them from continuing to do this.
Advice on how to clear murky or discoloured tap water
If you've seen any suspicious activity or someone filling up their vehicle with water that you think shouldn’t be, any information you provide will help us track down those responsible. Check the steps below to see if the hydrant is being used illegally, and report using the form at the bottom of the page.
- Please don’t approach them.
- Note down where they are and when it is. If they've been there more than once, make a note of any pattern or schedule.
- Check for any details of the vehicle, such as a company name, logo or number plate.
- If you can safely take a picture showing the vehicle and the standpipe attached then do this.
- Report now below or email us.
Why is hydrant misuse a serious issue and what are we doing to tackle it?
Hydrant misuse and vandalism is a criminal offence and can damage the hydrant and even break our mains pipework. This can put your home or business at risk during an emergency. Other problems can include discoloured water, reduction in pressure, loss of supply and in some cases water can be contaminated through their actions
- We’ve made it easier to spot people using our hydrants illegally. All authorised users use a bright green standpipe with our logo. These are issued by the specialist water fitting company, Aquam.
- We’ve fitted thousands of new locking caps to the hydrants which can only be unlocked with special tools and equipment making it more difficult for unauthorised users to access the hydrant in the first place.
- We take legal action against companies and individuals who take water illegally from us. In 2016, we took legal action against 13 companies, issued formal cautions and issued warning letters to companies that have been caught illegally using Severn Trent hydrants. There is also a number of companies currently under investigation, and some of these investigations may lead to formal cautions or even criminal prosecutions.
- We continually monitor our network and carry out spot checks to make sure that there aren't any damaged hydrants. This helps prevent any problems for you, the emergency services, or to our day to day operations.