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Severn Trent’s call on Leicester locals to help stop hydrant misuse.

Friday 27th October 2017

Severn Trent is asking the people of Leicester to help protect their 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 could be linked to people and companies illegally taking water from the network.

Mell Priestley, from Severn Trent, said: “Whether it’s to make the dinner, to brush your teeth with or just enjoying a cup of tea, we use water every day. So it’s really important we all do what we can to make sure it’s both always there when you need it and also 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. Which 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 Leicester.

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.

“People who use our bright green standpipes have gone through all the correct training to make sure they use them correctly,” said Mell. “This means anyone else using our hydrants could potentially cause your water to be discoloured, and they’re also 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 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 makes it much more difficult to open the hydrants without permission, making water supplies across the region much more secure.

Mell 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.”

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