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Severn Trent prosecutes Bellway Homes over illegal standpipe use

Thursday 12th July 2018

Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted Bellway Homes for two counts of illegal standpipe use at the new housing development on Loughborough Road, in Thringstone, Leicestershire.

Bellway Homes pleaded guilty to two offences under section 174 of the Water Industry Act 1991 of illegally using standpipes to access water, and to two offences under the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 with regards to use of the illegally installed standpipes which caused erroneous measurements of water use.

The company has now been ordered to pay a total of £5,309, made up of a £667 fine for each of the four offences, £2,574 in costs and a £67 victim surcharge.

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “The company deliberately commissioned these offences, illegally using standpipes to access water and in doing so also caused erroneous measurements of water used. Hopefully after being caught and landing themselves in trouble, they won’t be doing it again.

“Our customers pay for their water, so companies should too. Not only were Bellway Homes not paying for the water, by ignoring the regulations on standpipe installation they were also putting our drinking water supplies at risk of contamination. Severn Trent cannot be sure that operatives were trained to use or install standpipes properly, and if they get it wrong, it could have serious consequences.

“I hope that this sends a strong message to all organisations, regardless of size, to carefully monitor their water supply on their sites in order that all activity is above board.”

“Whether it’s for cooking, cleaning or just having a cup of tea, it’s really important that water’s there when you need it. So we’ve made it easy to spot those using standpipes illegally by teaming 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.”

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 waterregulations@severntrent.co.uk

Dan added: “No one wants to have murky water, and illegal standpipe use is one of the major causes of murky water in the Severn Trent region, as the draw of water can disturb harmless sediment that normally sits at the bottom of the pipe.  If anyone does ever experience murky water, 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 www.stwater.co.uk

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