Drain Clearing 247 Ltd, a West Midlands firm, has just received a fine of thousands of pounds for illegal use of Severn Trent hydrants following a successful prosecution by Severn Trent.
Telford Magistrates Court fined the company, based in Neachells Lane in Wolverhampton, £5,301.33 recently after it had admitted to illegally using Severn Trent’s hydrants on two occasions, once in Coventry and once in Telford.
This is not the first time that Severn Trent’s hydrants have been used illegally, and the company has now had enough and is asking the public to report any suspicious hydrant use as it fears that illegal use may lead to customers getting discoloured water or even losing their supply altogether.
Since the beginning of 2016, Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted 28 companies, written in excess of 100 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants, and is still investigating another 20 companies.
Dan Littlewood from Severn Trent commented:
“To make it easier to spot those using our hydrants illegally, we’ve teamed up with Aquam Water Services. 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.”
Severn Trent has also, in addition to the new standpipes, been extremely busy fitting tens of thousands of new locking caps which can only be unlocked with special equipment to their hydrants, and have to date fitted more than 30,000 caps across the network.
The water company is hoping that this initiative will put an end to individuals illegally opening and using the hydrants without permission, making water supplies across the region much more secure.
“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,” said Dan Littlewood.
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