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Severn Trent prosecutes Macclesfield company for illegal hydrant use

Thursday 24th May

Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted a Macclesfield based company for illegal hydrant use in Staffordshire.

Jet Rod (Manchester South) Ltd, based in Leek Road, Bosley, Macclesfield pleaded guilty to one offence of illegal hydrant use after being caught taking water illegally on Buxton Road, Leek on 17 November 2017.

The company has now been ordered to pay a total of £2660, made up of a £600 fine, £2000 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “The company used an illegal standpipe to access one of our hydrants to carry out a drain clean – 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 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 more than 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: “No one wants to have murky water, and 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 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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