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Two companies found guilty of illegal hydrant use in Derby

Friday 30th June 2017

Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted two companies for illegal hydrant use in Derby. Both companies were both found guilty and fined at Derbyshire Magistrates Court yesterday.

Leedale Ltd, based in Ripley, were ordered to pay £5,299, including costs, and Collins Earthworks Ltd, based in Kirkby in Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, were ordered to pay £2,726, including costs, after being caught using hydrants illegally in Derby.

Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “We hope people start to realise just how seriously we’re taking illegal hydrant use. It’s not fair on our customers that their water supply could be affected, all because some people think they’re above the law.

“Not only does this cause our customers to either be without water or to have their supplies left discoloured, it could also mean the fire service is unable access water in an emergency if the hydrant gets broken which could have serious consequences.”

Since the start of 2016, the company has successfully prosecuted 18 companies and written more than 100 warning letters to companies that have been caught illegally using Severn Trent hydrants. There are also a further 11 companies currently under investigation.

“To make it easier to spot those using our hydrants illegally, we’ve teamed up with Aquam Water Services,” adds Dan. “This now means all of our authorised standpipes are painted bright green and feature the Severn Trent and Aquam logos so it’s easier to spot people using our hydrants illegally.” 

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 

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 water pipes.  If customers do ever experience their water being discoloured, simply run the first mains fed tap – usually the kitchen 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 but it’s nothing to worry about.”

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