Illegal hydrant use puts water supply at risk - Surrey

A Better Service Limited illegally connected to a water hydrant in Stroud Road, Virginia Water despite being told by Veolia Water that a licence and special training was required after it previously attempted to take water illegally at a cost to customers.

Inappropriate handling of a hydrant can damage it and cause an interruption to supply while a repair is carried out and can compromise water quality. It can also make the hydrant unusable to the fire service in an emergency.

A Better Service Limited was fined by Guildford's Magistrates Court £750 for breaching 174(3) Section the Water Industry Act and £350 for breaching Section 42(6)(a) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, in addition to £1,610 in costs.

Veolia Water's Water Quality Manager Mike Webb said of the case:

"We are pleased that A Better Service Limited was fined for illegally using fire hydrants, but we're also saddened that they chose to break the law by putting our water supply and lives at risk in this way. I hope these prosecutions serve to remind contractors and others that we will not hesitate to protect the public through the Courts."

Veolia Water offers licences and training for commercial companies wanting to take water from hydrants to ensure water supply is not compromised by improper use. It is essential that anyone wishing to use a hydrant contacts the company to apply for a licence.


Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Becky Martin on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: [email protected],

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Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

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