Get listed in the Spick and Span Directory

General Cleaning Issues - Floorcare, car valeting, buying and selling businesses, pricing, staffing, market research, etc.

Standpipes/street water mains?

Posted by kb58 (keith b), 2 February 2004
Hello, help & advice please!,

Has anyone tried to connect a standpipe to the street water mains for pressure washing? if so- is it possible or difficult do and would i have to get a license from the water authority? Huh
Posted by mickeyfat (VGC), 2 February 2004
Huhi was once doing a navel etate and saw a young chap using the tap from the manhole Shocked
he said his boss did it for him....did i mention he was in the navy and working for them Huh
Posted by jake (jake), 3 February 2004

it is very easy to connect a stand pipe to a water main, but I,m sure you would need some kind of permit.

Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 4 February 2004
In Aberdeen and Edinburgh, the council provides licences. They are not cheap and you need to be thoroughy vetted before you get a key. I wanted one to do car valeting/washing with a pressure washer a couple of years back. The council said I couldn't do that because of waste water problems.

So, if you do ask the council for a permit, I wouldn't let on about the pressure washing. Try and think of another reason why you would need it.

Posted by shinnyshinner (Alan  shinnyshinner), 4 February 2004
Hi all
While I was in the drainage game I used to be a operator of a 3000-gallon combination unit, when filling up this was done by attaching a 21/2-inch standpipe (standard hydrant fitting) straight to the mains water supply this got very political as the water services where complaining about loss of pressure and rust settlement stirring up in the pipe causing colour change to drinking water.
Only way out was to have designated hydrants by local authorities over 6-inch main and to reduce the 21/2 outlet of the hydrant to 3/4inch.
¾ hydrant licenses can be obtained by your local water authority but personally would not mention the bit about mobile car washing as not to sure how you would stand regarding environmental laws.
One way out of it would be to say you need the license to fill up a water tank from the hydrant.
Would this business you’re running be a mobile business or have a base? As would be a nightmare riding around finding hydrants to work with, local to each job
The company I worked for once dodged paying for a license and was fined 10-15k
Hope this helps

Posted by kb58 (keith b), 5 February 2004
Hi All,

Basically the idea was to do patio pressure washing etc using a bog standard tap connection instead of using the customers supply or carrying a tank!.
Also im not sure how far apart these water access points are in a typical residential street? and whether its worth all the aggro running hose pipes up & down the road?.
Maybe i can get plans of exactly where these water access points are in my local area from Essex WaterHuh.

Thanks to everyone for the advice!
Posted by wreelyclean_servic (Wreelyclean Services), 18 February 2004
Shocked Shocked Shocked...Be very very careful what you tell and who to..

You do have to purchase a license but not from the council, you have to purchase it from your local water authority.  £700 approx.per year...and you can only use designated hydrants....and they check them....Your council may want you to purchase a license to work on the highway too...

It isn`t as easy as some people make out setting up a pressure washing business "`cos there must be money to make" will also need public liability will need to adhere to C.O.S.S.H regulations too..amongst everything else such as advertising and actually doing any work you may get.

Good luck to you if you try it out on the sly for a while but as I said be only needs one slip up and you`re in the brown sticky stuff.... Undecided
Posted by kb58 (keith b), 18 February 2004
Thanks wreelyclean!,

I think ill leave the standpipes idea alone for now, especially the designated hydrants! (sort of defeats the object).
Anyway this might sound a stupid question, but would i have to get a license to use a customers water supply? given that most households use their own hose/sprinkler systems to water their gardens, but as we all know most of us don`t pay the extra on the water rates for the privilege!  
Also where could i get a copy of the C.O.S.S.H regs?

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 19 February 2004
Hi Keith



Posted by kb58 (keith b), 19 February 2004
Thanks Len,

Just what im looking for!
Posted by wreelyclean_servic (Wreelyclean Services), 23 February 2004
Grin..You won`t need a license to use the customers water supply as you aren`t running a business from that property, all you will need to watch out for is poor pressure from the tap as this will ruin your machine and if they are on a water metre it will cost a few bob... Wink
Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 24 February 2004
Keith b

Sorry to be patronising I take it that you for got your question?

You asked, “Quote Also where could i get a copy of the C.O.S.S.H regs? Unquote”

And I supplied the HSE web site that’s where you will find the c.o.s.s.h regs


This page is a thread posted to the cleanitup forum at and archived here for reference. To jump to the archive index please follow this link.