A Slapton business has been successfully prosecuted for illegal hydrant use.
National Road Sweepers Ltd, from Whaddon Farm in Leighton Buzzard Road, Slapton, appeared before Leicester Magistrates Court after being caught illegally taking water from the Severn Trent network on four different occasions. Twice across Leicestershire and once each in Warwick and in Bromsgrove.
The company pleaded guilty and has now been ordered to pay £6,455.20 including costs.
Dan Littlewood, from Severn Trent, said: “We’re really happy with the outcome today, as it’s just not right that these companies believe they’re above the law.
“Our customers have to pay for water, so they should to and 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 that the Fire and Rescue service also relies 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: “Illegal hydrant use is one of the major causes of discoloured water in the Severn Trent region as the draw of water through the hydrant can disturb harmless sediment that normally sits at the bottom of the pipe.
“If customers do ever experience their water being discoloured, simply 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.”
National Road Sweepers Ltd has been approached for the LBO for comment.