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 a plant hire company at Plymouth Magistrates Court.
Jet Plant Hire Ltd, based in Evesham, contravened the Water Industry Act 1991 after using an unauthorised standpipe to access the water supply via a hydrant in Bell Close, Plympton, on 21 June 2016 without permission of South West Water.
The company pleaded guilty to three offences at Plymouth Magistrates Court on 10 January 2017 and was fined £1,320, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £66 and costs in full of £1277.16.
Bob Taylor, South West Water's Operations Director for Drinking Water Services, 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 Aquam Water Services Ltd.
For more information or to arrange standpipe hire, please call Aquam Water Services Ltd on 0844 756 4000 or email them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who may come into contact with treated or partially treated water should also be qualified under the Water UK National Water Hygiene Scheme. For more information, contact South West Water's Training Centre on 01837 811273.
Published: 12 January 2017
For further information please contact:
South West Water