COVENTRY-BASED water utility company Severn Trent has launched a clampdown on illegal use of its 300,000 fire hydrants across the West Midlands in a bid to reduce discolouration in water.
Since the start of 2016, the company has successfully investigated 50 instances of the illegal use of Severn Trent hydrants – many of the investigations have led to formal cautions and criminal prosecutions.
And now Severn Trent is calling on its customers to be its eyes and ears by keeping a lookout for unauthorised use that can lead to discoloured water for thousands of homes and businesses.
To make it easier to spot illegal use, Severn Trent has joined forced with Aquam Water Services to make sure all authorised standpipes are painted bright green and feature the Severn Trent and Aquam logos.
Dan Littlewood, water fittings senior technician at Severn Trent, said: “Companies and individuals that use our hydrants illegally can cause significant problems – they simply don’t care about what their actions might result in.
“When we work with users of our hydrants, which range from rescue services to housebuilders, we make sure they’re aware that they can have a very real impact on our customers’ lives and we can educate them on how to use them properly.
“For us, water quality is an absolute priority so we really need everyone to become a hydrant hero and keep an eye out for anyone using an illegal standpipe because it could be your water they’re affecting.”
Anyone who sees someone they believe to be using an illegal standpipe from a Severn Tent hydrant should do the following:
· Don’t approach them.
· Note down where they are and when it is.
· Make a note of the details of the vehicle.
· Take a picture showing the vehicle and the standpipe attached if you can do it safely.
· Send the detail to firstname.lastname@example.org.