Worcestershire company prosecuted after repeated illegal hydrant use
Wednesday 8th November 2017
Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted another company in Worcestershire for illegal hydrant use.
Kelly Plant Hire Ltd, based in Redditch, pleaded guilty to the charge and was ordered to pay £1,550, including costs, at Nuneaton Magistrates Court today.
The company received a warning for illegal hydrant use earlier this year but was caught again in Warwick and prosecuted.Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “We take illegal hydrant use really seriously, as it’s just not fair to our customers to have their water affected because some people believe they’re above the law.
“We don’t want our customer’s to have murky or no water at all, as it’s important that water is always there when they need it, whether it’s for cooking, cleaning or just having a cup of tea.
“The fire service also rely on water and the use of our hydrants, so if in an emergency they cannot use the hydrant because it’s broken – then it can have very serious consequences.”
Since the start of 2016 Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted 35 companies and written more than 100 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants.
“To make it easier to spot those using our hydrants illegally, we’ve teamed 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. So, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 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 www.stwater.co.uk.