A COMPANY has been ordered to pay £6,455.20 after pleading guilty from illegally taking water from the Severn Trent network.
National Road Sweepers Ltd, from Whaddon Farm in Leighton Buzzard, was prosecuted at Leicester Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday) after collecting the water twice across Leicestershire and once each in Warwick and Bromsgrove.
The amount it will have to pay includes costs.
Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said the provider was happy with the outcome.
“It’s just not right that these companies believe they’re above the law.
“Our customers have to pay for water, so they should too. Not only are they not paying for it, there’s also the chance that they can cause the water supply to be murky or even cause our customers to have no water at all, which just isn’t fair.
“Whether it’s for cooking, cleaning or just having a cup of tea, it’s really important that water’s there when you need it.
“It’s also important to remember fire and rescue services also rely on our hydrants being available in an emergency, and people using them illegally can result in the hydrants breaking and, if that happens, it could put lives at risk.”
Since the start of 2016 Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted 46 companies and written more than 160 warning letters to firms that have been caught illegally using hydrants.
Mr Littlewood added the provider has made it easier to spot those using hydrants illegally.
He said: “This now means all of our authorised standpipes are painted bright green. If anyone sees our hydrants being used by someone using anything other than a bright green standpipe, please let us know.”
Anyone who sees someone using an illegal standpipe has been warned not to approach them, note down the time, address and company name and, if they can do so safely, take a picture.
They should then email email@example.com including the details and picture.