Thames Water is clamping down on illegal water connections, with fleet services company, Go Plant Ltd, forced to pay £52,000 in fines and costs for repeatedly connecting unauthorised and unlicenced standpipes over the past five years.  

Go Plant operates across the Thames Valley and there have been multiple incidents across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire over the years including in Reading, Slough and High Wycombe.

Thames Water met with the company twice, in 2022 and 2023, to encourage them to comply with the rules, but they continued to connect to the water supply network illegally.

Go Plant has recently been prosecuted at Swindon Magistrates Court on April 12, and Reading Magistrates Court on May 3, and have now accumulated fines and costs of £52,000.

This comes five years after their first prosecution at Reading Magistrates Court on February 21 2019. 

Unauthorised connections can compromise the integrity of the clean water network when offenders do not pay for their connections, or the water consumed.

With climate change and population growth putting a strain on water resources, Thames Water is taking action against those who illegally connect to clean water mains.  

Since 2017 more than 400 separate offences were uncovered and prosecuted and over 550 retrospective charges have been issued for first offences.

In total the business has recouped £470,000 in the last seven years which is then reinvested back into crucial work to provide clean and wastewater services to around 16 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.  

Claire Rumens, Thames Water’s illegal connections manager, said: “Our work to find and stop illegal connections helps us to uncover hundreds of offences and save millions of litres in water and uphold our statutory obligation to protect, control and maintain our clean water network.  

“As we ask our customers to use water wisely and have engineers working around the clock to find and fix leaks, we are also doing our part to stop illegal connections to our water supply. We will always look to work with individuals and companies to educate and reduce the risk of re-offending.”  

Thames Water Utilities Ltd (TWUL) have the right to prosecute all offences but may offer a one-off retrospective charge for a non-aggravated standpipe first offence.

Standpipes can be hired from Thames Water’s authorised service provider. 

To report an illegal connection or unauthorised standpipe connection email or call Developer Services on 0800 009 3921.