Dee Valley Water prosecutes companies over hydrant usage
Dee Valley Water have successfully prosecuted two businesses in the Chester area for illegally accessing water from hydrants connected to its water supply network.
The two companies prosecuted were Clean Line Waste Water Solutions Limited of Birkenhead and TDM Drainage Ltd (trading as Metro Rod) based in Deeside. Following a court case, both were charged with offences that breached Section 174 of the Water Industry Act 1991 and received fines with full costs awarded plus an additional victim surcharge.
Dee Valley Water was originally alerted to a problem following a number of complaints made about water quality within the Chester area. After paying particular attention to the problematic areas the utility discovered tankers owned by the two companies filling up from a hydrant and they were subsequently prosecuted.
Ian Plenderleith, Dee Valley’s CEO said “Accessing a water hydrant without authorisation can cause serious incidents of discolouration to the water supply and can lead to disruptions to our service and to many customers including schools, hospitals and other sensitive customers. It can also cause damage to a water or fire hydrant resulting in it being inoperable by ourselves or by the emergency services and we treat such matters very seriously. We therefore hope that these successful prosecutions will serve as a warning to others that we will pursue and prosecute anyone who illegally accesses water from our supply network.”
Third parties may legitimately request the use of water hydrants for a number of reasons including road sweeping, drainage clearance, road re-surfacing and building demolition. However, this has to be done in a controlled manner to prevent water quality impacts on customers. Dee Valley facilitates the agreed use of hydrants on its supply network subject to charges, permit and conditions of use.
Plenderleith added: “Whilst our Network Inspectors remain vigilant when they’re out and about, we would also ask the general public to also keep a watch out for third parties using hydrants and report anything suspicious directly to us.”
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