Manchester company prosecuted for illegal hydrant use

Thursday 25th November 2021

Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted a company based in Manchester, after it was caught using an hydrant illegally with an incorrect standpipe on Ashbourne Road in Stoke-on-Trent.

UBU Environmental Ltd, based in Worsley, Manchester, pleaded guilty to the offence at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay £3,233. A total made up of a fine at £667, £2,500 costs and £66 for victim surcharges. 

The company was caught and issued an official warning on a previous occasion followed by a formal caution on a subsequent occasion, however, they continued to repeat the offence.

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “Not only did this company illegally access the network and take water without paying for it – they continued these illegal practices after being issued a warning.

“This company’s actions not only directly caused problems to the water supply, but by accessing the hydrants without proper training, they could have damaged them. This can cause real problems for the fire service in the event of an emergency if they’re unable to use the hydrant properly, and could lead to devastating consequences.”

Severn Trent’s authorised standpipes are painted bright green, featuring the Severn Trent Water logo which will make it easier to distinguish illegal hydrants and standpipes. 

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 

Any company needing to discuss their site water supply can email Dan and the team through