Top of main content

Thames Water cracks down on illegal water connections

Thursday 15th February 2024 10:00

Engineers using a standpipe

  • Bellway Homes is ordered to pay Thames Water £10,115 for permitting illegal water connections at two separate development sites in 2023.  
  • Since 2017 Thames Water has uncovered 870 illegal connection offences and administered 96 prosecutions.  
  • As part of its efforts to use water effectively, the company is committed and obligated to protect its clean water supply for customers.  

Thames Water is clamping down on illegal water connections, with Bellway Homes being ordered to pay more than £10,000 for connecting to an unauthorised and unlicenced standpipe to the clean water main, on two separate occasions at developments in Taplow and Greenhithe.  

The fine is just a small fraction of the £450,000 that companies have been ordered to pay Thames Water in the last 7 years, as part of legal costs from contractors, landowners and other third parties who illegally connected to their clean water mains without authorisation.  

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, as they compromise the integrity of the clean water network and do not pay for their connections, or the water consumed.  

Since 2017 more than 39 separate offences were uncovered and prosecuted and over 500 retrospective charges have been issued for first offences. The money is 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." 

Standpipes can be hired from Thames Water’s authorised service provider. Thames Water Utilities Ltd (TWUL) reserve the right to prosecute all offences but may offer a one-off retrospective charge for a non-aggravated standpipe first offence. 

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