Homeowners and businesses are being urged to use the national WaterSafe directory to find approved plumbers after a fruit farm was fined thousands for contaminating the public water supply.
Poor plumbing landed Haygrove Ltd, based in Herefordshire, in court after the farm’s faulty pipework turned local people’s water pink.
Customers are now being advised to use the free online register, WaterSafe, to find qualified plumbers who are trained in the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws. WaterSafe is a service which brings together approved plumbing businesses and is backed by all UK water companies.
Haygrove Ltd had to pay more than £6,000 in fines and court costs, and more than £5,000 in compensation to Severn Trent Water – a total of more than £11,000 – after pleading guilty to offences under the Water Industry Act last year.
Severn Trent Water investigated the fruit farm after receiving reports of pink water from local residents. Strawberry fertiliser was found to be leaking into the mains water supply due to badly connected plumbing.
Water companies are advising customers not to put cost-cutting ahead of quality when it comes to plumbing work and instead strongly recommend using WaterSafe approved installers.
They are also reminding homes and businesses that it’s a legal requirement for customers who want to alter private plumbing connected to the network to notify their water company beforehand, so they can check the work is safe.
Ian Mitchell, Water Fittings Regulations Manager at Severn Trent Water and WaterSafe Board member said: “WaterSafe is a free, invaluable service, to help keep the water supply healthy after it reaches customers’ homes and businesses.
“It is a fast and simple way for anyone in the UK to know their plumber is qualified and the work is being carried out within the law and not putting people’s health at risk. We would urge everyone to use the WaterSafe service, not only because it helps to protect the quality of the water supply, but also because ultimately it could save them a court appearance and a large fine.”
For more information visit watersafe.org.uk or call 0333 207 9030.