A street cleaning company carried on stealing water despite being fined as much as £52,000, water company Thames Water has said.

Go Plant Ltd was fined £52,000 over five years for repeatedly connecting unauthorised standpipes to hydrants. Yet despite being prosecuted several times – and pleas by Thames Water bosses – the company continued to connect to the water supply illegally.

Thames Water said: “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 have recently been prosecuted at Swindon Magistrates court on 12 April, and Reading Magistrates court on 3 May, and have now accumulated fines and costs of £52,000. This comes five years after their first prosecution at Reading Magistrates Court on 21 February 2019.”

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According to Thames Water, Go Plant was charged with 40 offences for illegally connecting to the water supply since 2019.

In total it racked up £52,000 for all 40 offences. But only some of this is to be paid back to Thames Water, which the utility company says will only cover its investigation costs and legal fees.

The average standpipe costs £1,500 to  hire for a year. However the maximum fine that courts can impose for an illegal connection is £1,000 – and this can be reduced by one third for an early guilty plea.

Go Plant was recently taken over by another street cleaning company, Sweeptech, on May 3 after it went into administration. Sweeptech did not respond to a request for comment.