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Severn Trent prosecutes company for illegal hydrant use in Warwickshire. 

Tuesday 10th April 2018

Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted a company for illegal hydrant use in Warwickshire today.

RCSC Ltd, of Cromwell Road in Grimsby, was found guilty of one offence of illegal hydrant use at Nuneaton Magistrates Court.

The company has now been ordered to pay a total of £3995.65, made up a £1000 fine, £2895.65 in costs and a £100 victim surcharge after being caught accessing the water network illegally in Kenilworth in August last year.

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “Thanks to the public being our eyes and ears on the ground and reporting this to us, we’ve managed to prosecute yet another company for illegally taking water from our network.

“Our customers pay for their water, so companies should too. Not only are they not paying for it, they are also putting water supplies at risk of being murky or not being there at all. These companies are not trained to use our hydrants properly, which also puts people at risk in emergencies, as the fire and rescue services relies on our hydrants and if they’re broken, it could have serious consequences.”

Since the start of 2016 Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted over 50 companies and written more than 160 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants.

“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 our hydrants 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 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 murky 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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