A COMPANY which jeopardised Rugby’s water supplies by illegally using water hydrants at a building site has been prosecuted by Severn Trent Water.
Breheny Civil Engineering Ltd pleaded guilty to two offences of using unauthorised standpipes on a building site in Rugby last year.
The Ipswich-based company has been ordered to pay £4,215 – comprising £600 for each offence, a victim surcharge of £120 and costs of £2,895.
Dan Littlewood from Severn Trent said: “We hope this gives a very clear message to other companies working on building sites that it’s really important to use the correct standpipe and to be fully trained when accessing our network.
“When our hydrants are used illegally by untrained people with the wrong equipment, it causes problems for the fire service in emergencies, as hydrants can be broken meaning they can’t be used if there’s a fire.
“It can also cause our customers’ water to appear murky or just not there when you turn on the tap, as the draw of water through the hydrant can disturb harmless sediment that normally sits at the bottom of the pipe.
“If anyone experiences murky water, 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.”
He added that Severn Trent had successfully prosecuted over 70 companies and written more than 180 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants since the start of 2016.
“When companies take the law into their own hands, it’s really important we act so we can protect water supplies,” Dan said.
Severn Trent has made it easy to spot illegal hydrant use by making sure all authorised standpipes are bright green, and feature Severn Trent and Aquam Water Services logos.
The company has also fitted locking caps to hydrants which can only be unlocked with special equipment, which should put an end to people using and opening the hydrants without permission.
If anyone sees someone they believe is using an illegal standpipe from a Severn Trent hydrant, send the time, place, company name and a photograph to [email protected].
Visit www.stwater.co.uk for more information about discoloured water.