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A Queenstown landowner and contractor would be issued with a formal warning after being found to have illegally connected to a community water supply, Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager regulatory and corporate Roger Taylor said.
"What these unlawful connections mean to the community is that the cost of providing these services is not fairly apportioned to all users.
"Everyone else is effectively subsidising those unlawfully connected," Mr Taylor said in a media release issued yesterday.
Drawing off large amounts of water illegally could affect reservoir levels and other users, he said.
"In this case, a council engineer discovered the connection, which had enabled a contractor to access a water main without permission.
"A written warning will be issued but the council's water supply bylaw is clear, and an unlawful connection is a breach of the bylaw," Mr Taylor said.
Costs for the investigation would also be sought.
The maximum fine for a breach of the bylaw is $5000.
"It would be preferable for landowners or contractors to contact us to seek permission for a connection than to risk prosecution in the future," Mr Taylor said.