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Don’t put public water supply at risk or you could face prosecution, warns South West Water

29th July 2019

South West Water is urging businesses 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 successful prosecutions of two companies for unauthorised standpipe use.


At a hearing at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on 25 July, building services company Aston Environmental Limited was ordered to pay fines and costs of £1,796.40 for the illegal abstraction of water from South West Water’s network in Cranbrook, Exeter, on 27 February 2019.


On 18 June, Liskeard building and civil engineering company Steve Hoskin Construction Ltd was ordered by Plymouth Magistrates’ Court to pay fines and costs of £1,560 for the illegal abstraction of water from South West Water’s network in Tavistock on 15 January 2019.


This is the second time Steve Hoskin Construction Ltd has been prosecuted for such offences.   


Mark Hillson, South West Water’s Director of Networks and Customer Service, 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 viasouthwestwater@waterservicesltd.com.

For further information please contact:

South West Water