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Birmingham company fined almost £10,000 for illegal hydrant use and wasting water across Warwickshire

Thursday 4th July 2019

In a first for water company Severn Trent, Birmingham Drain Services Ltd has been prosecuted for wasting water as well as for illegally tapping into the company’s network in Warwickshire. 

At Coventry Magistrates’ Court, the company, which is based on Birch Road, Witton in Birmingham, was ordered to pay a total of £9,935.90, made up of a £6,300 fine, £3,465.90 costs and a £170 victim surcharge for three offences of illegal hydrant use across Warwickshire last year, which included a conviction for wasting water. 

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent said : “This is first time we’ve convicted anyone for wasting water, and as we always ask our customers to use water wisely – making sure those that waste it by using our hydrants illegally are held accountable, is the right thing to do. 

“This company acted recklessly, and could have caused real problems when accessing our network when they shouldn’t have. Not only could they have caused our customers water to be off or murky, but they could have easily caused issues for the fire service in the event of an emergency.”

Severn Trent has secured more than 120 convictions, relating to breaches facilitated by incidences of illegal hydrant use.

The company is making it easier to spot illegal hydrants with all authorised standpipes now painted bright green and featuring the Severn Trent logo.

“We never want our customers water supplies to be at risk, so we’re really working hard to crack down on illegal hydrant use,” adds Dan. “We want to make sure our customers water is always there when they need it so we want businesses to use approved standpipes and work with us to have the proper training they need access to our hydrants correctly and legally."

If anyone sees someone they believe is using an illegal standpipe from a Severn Trent hydrant, the company has also issued the following advice:

•    Don’t approach them;

•    Note down the location and the date;

•    Make a note of the company name if possible;

•    Take a picture showing the vehicle and the standpipe attached if it can be done safely;

•    Send the details to waterregulations@severntrent.co.uk 

Any company needing to discuss their site water supply can email Dan and the team through waterregulations@severntrent.co.uk.

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