Water company fined £220,000 for river pollution
- Pollution & Waste Management ,
- Water ,
- Environment agencies ,
Thames Water has been fined £220,000 for polluting a Surrey river, damaging water quality and suffocating a large number of fish.
The Environment Agency took Thames Water to court over the incident on the River Blackwater, a tributary of the River Loddon, on 7 September 2012.
The company was found guilty of breaching its environmental permit by allowing partially-treated sewage from its treatment works on Doman Road in Camberley to enter the river, which flows through a site of special scientific interest.
Three weeks later, the company also reported an illegal storm discharge at the same facility, which it said was caused by a build-up of toilet paper and sewage debris.
The case was first heard in Redhill Magistrates’ Court, but was moved to Guildford Crown Court for sentencing due to the serious nature of the offences. Thames Water pleaded guilty and was fined £220,000, and ordered to pay costs of £27,500.
A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “We very much regret this incident and have reviewed procedures and invested in new equipment at the treatment works to reduce the chance of anything like this happening again.”
Judge Lucas QC said: “It is important that the courts send out a clear message to Thames Water and all companies operating in this sector. Regulations are there to protect the environment and that the courts will act firmly where regulations are breached and where the environment is either damaged or put at risk of damage.”
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