Firm illegally connected to water supply
By Sean Robinson
A construction firm has pleaded guilty to illegally interfering with the public water
supply without consent in Liverpool.
Projects Ltd of London Road had built an apartment complex on Princeton Place
in the City.
The firm was
ordered to pay a total of £4,770 by a District Judge [Thursday 26 January] after the company accepted
pleaded guilty to one breach interfering with a water main without consent
under section 174(1)(a) of the Water Industry Act 1991.
Magistrates’ Court heard the firm had illegally interfered with the public
water supply without consent from United Utilities.
water company, which supplies drinking water to around seven million taps
across the North West, first received telephone contact from an occupier of one
of the flats at Princeton Place reporting a chemical and metallic odour to the
water quality sampling was undertaken, which indicated the presence of high
concentrations of organic compounds in the water being supplied from the taps
within the property
tests had to be analysed at a laboratory in Warrington-Cheshire. The Cheshire
& Merseyside Health Protection Team and United Utilities issued a
precautionary “Do Not Drink” advice to the occupants in Block A and B Princeton
Place whilst investigations continued.
court heard thirty-one customers called United Utilities emergency control
centre for help between 26 April and 07 May 2016.
Under caution, Carpenter
Projects confirmed the connection was first made on or around July 2014 and
that, Carpenter Projects acting as the Principal Contractor for the development
and instructed sub-contractors to attach the pipe to the public water supply.
for United Utilities, said significant efforts were made to locate the source
connection given there had been no formal application. There was no indication
of where or how this had been done, or whether the method of connection was
safe or met the relevant UK regulatory
requirements for the provision of drinking water to domestic properties.
specialist equipment called a ‘thumper’ device had to be used to locate
underground water pipes by sending a rhythmic pulse and then picking up the
noise with ground microphone.
investigation led engineers to a connection point located on Caryl Street,
which was hidden.
spent weeks laying new pipework and inspecting alterations of internal pipework
to ensure the 100-bed apartment blocks could be supplied with safe clean
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