Derbyshire company fined for illegal use of Severn Trent hydrants

Tuesday 12th September 2017

A company based in Derby has been fined after pleading guilty to illegally using Severn Trent hydrants.

Greenfleet Hireco Ltd, of Ashbourne Road in Derby, was ordered to pay £2,806.41 at Coventry Magistrates Court after admitting illegally accessing hydrants on two occasions – once in Newark and then in East Leake, both in Nottinghamshire.

Severn Trent is now reminding people of the consequences of illegal hydrant use, and what they can do to help the company in stopping this illegal activity. 

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “We hope people realise how serious we take illegal hydrant use. It’s not fair on our customers that their water supply could be affected, all because some people think they’re above the law. 

“Not only does this cause our customers to either be without water or to have their supplies left discoloured, it could also mean the fire service is unable access water in an emergency if the hydrant gets broken which could have serious consequences.”

Since the start of 2016 Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted 30 companies and written more than 100 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants. Over 10 companies are currently under investigation.

“To make it easier to spot those using our hydrants illegally, we’ve teamed up with Aquam Water Services,” said Dan. “This now means all of our authorised standpipes are painted bright green and feature the Severn Trent and Aquam logos. So, if anyone sees our hydrants being used by someone using anything other than a bright green standpipe, please let us know.”

If anyone sees someone they believe is using an illegal standpipe from a Severn Trent hydrant:

•    Don’t approach them;

•    Note down where they are and when it is;

•    Make a note of the company name;

•    Take a picture showing the vehicle and the standpipe attached if you can do it safely; and then

•    Send the detail to

In addition to the new standpipes, Severn Trent has also been busy fitting tens of thousands of new locking caps to hydrants which can only be unlocked with special equipment. To date, more than 30,000 caps have been fitted across the network.  This should put an end to people using and opening the hydrants without permission, making water supplies across the region much more secure.

Dan added: “Illegal hydrant use is one of the major causes of discoloured water in the Severn Trent region as the draw of water through the hydrant can disturb harmless sediment that normally sits at the bottom of the pipe.  If customers do ever experience their water being discoloured, simply run the first mains fed tap at a gentle rate for 20 minutes and the water should clear.  You may need to do this a few times to completely clear the water.  It’s nothing to worry about, and this simple advice may avoid the need for you to call us.”

For more information about discoloured water visit