Severn Trent calls on Derby locals to be Hydrant Heroes

Wednesday 12th April 2017

If you’ve ever experienced discoloured tap water, did you know that there’s a good chance it may have been caused by illegal hydrant use?

Severn Trent has seen a rise in the number of discoloured water reports across Derby, and believe it to be linked to people operating hydrants, when they shouldn’t.

The company is now calling on locals to become Hydrant Heroes, by reporting any suspicious hydrant activity to help put a stop to the standpipe bandits.

Mell Priestly from Severn Trent says, “A lot of people don’t realise that the draw of water through a hydrant can disturb harmless sediment that normally sits at the bottom of the pipe, often making the water appear murky.

“Water quality is always an absolute priority of ours, so if our hydrant heroes report any illegal standpipes being used in their local area, they could potentially prevent their own water supply from being discoloured.

”Severn Trent teamed up with Aquam Water Services so now authorised standpipes are painted bright green and feature the Severn Trent and Aquam logo, making it easier to spot those using the hydrants illegally.

“Those who use the authorised bright green standpipes, are trained to use them properly. People using non-authorised standpipes are not only possibly causing discoloured water, but also taking water and not paying for it, which just isn’t fair.”

Since 2016 in Derby, Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted five companies and issued two formal cautions to companies after being spotted using hydrants illegally by the public.

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;

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

•    Send the details to

“If you ever experience your 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 illegal hydrant use, please visit our website: