Taking water from the water network is punishable as theft.
Unauthorized users have time until March to avoid penalties.
Acea Ato 5 is the sole integrated water service provider in the Optimal Territorial Area (ATO) No. 5 “South Lazio”, which includes 86 Municipalities in the province of Frosinone and one in the province of Latina.
The relationship between the Provider and the users of the water services is governed by the National Regulation and by regulations approved by all Municipalities at the time the service was assigned.
Anyone who uses the water services (aqueduct, sewerage system, water treatment) must pay an amount that contributes to cover the costs to run the services, based on the principle that those who “pollute more, pay more”, to discourage water waste.
Acting in violation of these rules is forbidden. Knowingly using the integrated water service without being registered or connecting to the water network system without authorization (or reconnecting after the supply was suspended or disconnected) is illegal and in most cases is considered a crime.
When an unauthorized water connection is identified, it is immediately removed. The applicable water regulation provides that anyone responsible for tampering with seals, diverting or altering pipes, or implementing a system that allows to take water without detection, in addition to penalties, shall have to pay for the amounts of water taken without authorization and reimburse all the costs caused by their actions.
It is important to remember that taking water from the public network without the Provider’s authorization by tampering with the pipes is considered theft (water is a movable good); additionally, in most cases this crime is aggravated by the use of force causing damage (tampering with seals, cutting water pipes, etc.).
Whoever materially tampers with the water system shall be held responsible together with anyone else who later takes advantage of the water service (for complicity in the crime).
Therefore, the unauthorized connection to the water network system has economic consequences (penalties for using the service without authorization) and is also considered a crime (aggravated theft of water).
Acea Ato 5 is currently carrying out checks to identify and stop any unauthorized use of the water services. The first reports, unfortunately, show a high number of unauthorized users.
It is worth mentioning that these checks are carried out, first and foremost, in the interest of users who regularly pay their bills, as they are the ones who have to cover the costs of unauthorized users.
Figures show that eradicating the issue of unauthorized users would cut tariffs by approximately 30%.
This is one of the reasons why the agreement on the moratorium was reached by the Area Provider and the Consumer Protection Body, signed in the presence of the Regional Water Authority: to encourage unauthorized users to regularize their position.
The agreement abolishes penalties and payments due for the prior use of the water services for anyone who voluntarily registers their position by 31 March 2020.
After this date and until 31 December 2020, unauthorized users may still regularize their position but will have to pay part of the amounts due for the prior use of the water services.
Anyone interested in the moratorium will find all the necessary information at the help desks in Frosinone (Via Aldo Moro 415) or in Cassino (Via Giacomo Leopardi 32).