Don’t put public water supply at risk or you could face prosecution
14th April 2015
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The advice follows the prosecution of six businesses this year to date:

BioMarsh Environmental Ltd, a liquid waste management company based in Essex, was fined £500 and ordered to pay around £1,000 costs by Exeter Magistrates Court on 8 April 2015 for the illegal abstraction of water from South West Water’s network at Grenadier Road, Exeter, on 15 October 2014.

Truro drain cleaning company Aqua Rod (South West) Ltd was ordered to pay fines, costs and compensation totalling over £4,000 by Bodmin Magistrates Court at a hearing on 20 March 2015. The company’s directors pleaded guilty to two charges of illegally abstracting water from South West Water’s network in St Day, Redruth, on 29 August 2014 and in Probus on 28 October 2014.  This is the second time that Aqua Road (South West) Ltd have been prosecuted – in 2010 Camborne Magistrates Court fined the company £1,500 and ordered the company to pay £1,100 costs for similar offences.

Roadtech Cutting Ltd, a highway traffic control company based in Staffordshire, was ordered to pay fines and costs of £1,776.98 by Exeter Magistrates’ Court on 23 March following an illegal abstraction at Russell Way, Exeter, on 3 September 2014.

On the same day, Exeter Magistrates Court ordered C&G Tarmac Surfacing Ltd, based in Salisbury, to pay fines and costs of £1,662.36 when the company pleaded guilty to three charges of contravening section 174 of the Water Industry Act 1991, after using an unauthorised standpipe to access the water supply via a hydrant in Cranbrook on 28 October 2014.

On 30 January 2015, Bodmin Magistrates Court ordered Leeds-based drainage company Lanes Group plc to pay £4,746.20 in fines and costs for two illegal abstractions in Canyke Fields, Bodmin, on 27 June 2014 and in Bell Close, Plympton, on 9 December 2014. This is the second time the company has been prosecuted in the South West – in 2013 Truro Magistrates Court ordered the company to pay fines and costs of £2,620.28 for similar offences.

Bodmin Magistrates Court also ordered Bodmin construction company Oakway Ltd to pay fines and costs of more than £1,200 at a hearing on 20 February 2015, for using a non-authorised standpipe to illegally abstract water from South West Water’s network at Rock in Cornwall on 1 August 2014.

Paul Mitchell, South West Water’s Contract and Business Development Manager, 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 Jewson. For your nearest branch call 01392 446068 or 01726 68233 or visit

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Dave B

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I am Dave, I run thebestof Exeter along with my colleagues. If you want to promote your business or event, get in touch with us on 01392 349 130.

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