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Severn Trent prosecutes company for illegal hydrant use in Coventry

Wednesday 6th December 2017

A Halesowen-based company found themselves in court as Severn Trent successfully prosecuted them for illegal hydrant use in Coventry. 

The case against Pro Tech Pavers Ltd was heard at Coventry Magistrates Court, and ended with the company ordered to pay £2,993.34 for the offence carried out earlier this year. 

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “We hope this prosecution shows companies that we take illegal hydrant extremely seriously, and that we will prosecute them where we can. 

“It’s simply not fair to our customers to have their water affected because some companies believe they’re above the law. We don’t want our customer’s to have murky or even no water at all. Whether it’s for cooking, cleaning or just having a cup of tea, it’s important that water is always there when you need it. 

“It’s also important to remember that the Fire and Rescue service also relies on our hydrants being available in an emergency and people using them illegally can result in the hydrants breaking and, if that happens, it could put lives at risk.”

Since the start of 2016 Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted 37 companies and written more than 150 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants.

“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 waterregulations@severntrent.co.uk

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 http://www.stwater.co.uk.

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