Operating hydrants

Before operating any of our apparatus please note the following information.​

Standpipe use on our network can present a contamination risk to our mains through the various processes and works they are used at. Therefore when connecting / disconnecting the standpipe you must ensure strict hygiene procedures are followed at all times.​

When attaching a standpipe (this applies to all types of hydrant outlets)​ you must:

  • Clean out the hydrant pit of any debris
  • Flush the hydrant to clear the connection point​
  • Spray the hydrant and standpipe with disinfection spray (e.g. Milton’s)​
  • Do not cross thread the outlet​
  • Do not apply any bending or sideways load to the standpipe​
  • Visually inspect the standpipe to confirm it is fitted correctly​
  • Operate the spindle at arms length​
  • Do not stand directly over the hydrant pit as any failure of the unit could result in water and debris being forced vertically upwards​
  • Always open and close the hydrant in a slow and controlled manner

If any hydrant does fail in operation please report it to United Utilities immediately. You can call our friendly team on 0345 672 3723.

Designated Hydrants

  • Aren’t all hydrants the same! No not all hydrants are the same, some hydrants are on small diameter pipes and don’t allow much water through, some are at the end of the line and will cause discoloured water if used. Some hydrants are for the Fire Brigade, and these are marked with yellow markings, or a yellow and black plate, these are for firefighting purposes only. The best hydrants are on large diameter mains and we call these our “designated hydrants”.


  • Designated Hydrants were originally identified water abstraction points on UU’s Clean Water Network for hired standpipes. The identification of an available hydrant was and still is to be compatible with our Calm Network Principles.

    The Calm Network Principle is that we should be operating our hydrants in a safe and controlled manner that minimises disruption on the clean water network. This is so we can protect our customers from discoloured water, high demand related poor pressures and reduce pressure transients that might otherwise lead to mains failure.


  • We now have a designated hydrant MAP that will provide you with the location of each Hydrant we have identified as being a suitable Designated Hydrant with a unique target symbol. This is a new exciting technology to help you find your way around our Network to find a hydrant that is suitable for both of us. We have also undertaken a review of these locations in order to increase the number available and ensure they are more accessible whilst following Water Quality focused rules.

    Distribution of the web map URL will be handled by the Standpipe Hire Team. This will be useable either via a Desktop/Laptop browser or via the same URL when opened on a mobile phone. You can contact the Standpipe Hire Team here.