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Don't put public water supply at risk or you could face prosecution

South West Water is urging customers not to steal water from its public supply network or they could run the risk of prosecution. A standpipe hire service is available instead.

The advice follows the prosecution of several businesses earlier this year:

Keily Bros Ltd, a road surfacing company from Birmingham, contravened the Water Industry Act 1991 section 174 after using an unauthorised standpipe to access the water supply via a hydrant at Red Ball, near Wellington, on 21 May 2014 without permission of South West Water.

The company pleaded guilty to three charges at Taunton Magistrates Court on 12 December and was fined £500, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and costs in full of £1,453.70.

FCC Environment Services (UK) Ltd of Okehampton was fined £1,800, ordered to pay £1,397.64 costs and a victim surcharge of £120 by Plymouth Magistrates Court on 28 November following an illegal abstraction on 6 May 2014 at Union Mine Road, Tavistock. 

Bristol-based CJL Construction Ltd was fined £700 and ordered to pay £1,874.40 costs by Exeter Magistrates Court on 7 October 2014 for the illegal abstraction of water from South West Water's network at the Cranbrook development on 6 March 2014. 

Paul Mitchell, South West Water's Contracts, Compliance & Business Development Manager, said: "Connecting unauthorised standpipes to our network is an issue we take very seriously.

"It creates a potential risk to water quality, which could result in public health issues and damage our infrastructure. It can also interfere with our customers' supplies or fire service activities. We monitor the use of our network closely and will take action against anyone who is detected making unauthorised use of a standpipe."

Only authorised standpipes can be connected to South West Water's infrastructure at approved locations. Unauthorised use could result in a fine of up to £3,000 for each incident.

To help all customers, including charities and community organisations holding outdoor events, South West Water has set up a special standpipe hire service with Jewson. For your nearest branch call 01392 446068 or 01726 68233 or visit http://www.jewson.co.uk/branch-locator/

Published: 29 December 2014

For further information please contact:

Press Office
South West Water
www: www.southwestwater.co.uk/contactus

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