Severn Trent’s call on Nottingham Locals to help stop hydrant misuse.

Wednesday 15th November 2017

Severn Trent is asking the people of Nottingham to help protect the water supply, by helping crack down on illegal hydrant use.

The company has seen a rise in reports of discoloured water across the city, and believe it to be linked with people illegally taking water from the network.

Dan Littlewood from Severn Trent said: “Whether it’s to make the dinner, brush your teeth or just enjoy a cup of tea, we use water every day. So, it’s really important that we all do what we can to make sure it’s always there when you need it and of great quality.“

People don’t realise that when hydrants are used illegally, there’s a real risk of causing discoloured water, as it can disturb harmless sediment that normally sits at the bottom of the pipe, often making the water appear murky. This is something we don’t want anyone to have to experience.”

Since 2016, Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted more than 30 companies for illegal hydrant use and believe the activity is starting to become more of a problem in Nottingham.

There’s been five illegal hydrant use sightings across Nottingham, which resulted in prosecution, as well as three Nottinghamshire based companies prosecuted.

To make it easier to spot, Severn Trent teamed up with Aquam Water Services so now authorised standpipes are painted bright green and feature the Severn Trent and Aquam logo.

“Those who use our bright green standpipes, have gone through all the correct training to make sure they use them correctly. This means anyone else, could potentially cause your water to be discoloured, and they’re taking water without paying for it – which just isn’t fair.”

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

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: “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.”