A CIRCUS has been fined more than £5,000 for using South West Water (SWW) standpipes in Hayle without permission.
Gerry Cottle's Circus Ltd, trading as Gerry Cottle's WOW Circus, was prosecuted for six charges of using the water supply via hydrants in Alphington, Exeter, and Hayle last July without the permission of the water board.
SWW is now urging customers to take advantage of its standpipe hire service rather than run the risk of prosecution.
Exeter magistrates fined the circus £5,400 and ordered it to pay £1,620 in costs, at a hearing on February 5.
A spokesman for SWW said: "Connecting unauthorised standpipes to our network is an issue we take very seriously.
"It creates a potential risk to water quality, which could result in public health issues, and could damage our infrastructure. It can also interfere with our operations or fire service activities. We monitor the use of our network closely and will take action against anyone who is detected making unauthorised use of a standpipe."
South West Water has set up a standpipe hire service with Jewson. For more details call 01392 446068 or 01726 68233 or visit http://www.jewson.co.uk/branch-locator