What’s a standpipe and who can use it?

Photo of a standpipe


We work hard every day to get clean, safe water to your taps, but sometimes people use unauthorised standpipes on our water mains to illegally take water.

This is theft! It puts an additional strain on the network which can cause low pressure and your water to be discoloured.

In warm weather, demand for water rises and this increases the amount of water flowing through our network of pipes. In the recent warm weather in May, we saw an increase in localised discolouration of water due to unauthorised use of standpipes. 

Photo of standpipesWe offer licenced standpipes for hire, with full training on how to use them. These standpipes are designed to reduce the risk of discolouring the water and the hirer will pay for the use of the standpipe. They are easy to recognise, as they are bright yellow.

It’s vital to stop the unauthorised use of standpipes, it’s not fair on anyone.

So if you see anyone, other than us or the fire service, using a standpipe, which isn’t yellow, please let us know by phoning 0800 389 10 11 or by emailing They may be stealing water, it could result in your water supply being discoloured and it is not fair for the rest of our customers.

Water theft is illegal and we do prosecute repeat offenders.


“Responsible companies obtain an authorised standpipe to connect to the network and can be trained to use the equipment correctly and safely. When companies ignore this and illegally connect to the water supply network, they are not only avoiding payment but also potentially creating problems with the pressure and quality of water supplied to our customers.

Providing a safe and reliable water supply to all of our customers is our number one priority and we work hard every day to make this happen.”

Mike Morris, Network Performance Manager at South Staffs Water.


Hire a standpipe

Find out how to hire a standpipe


Posted: 1 July 2020