Severn Trent Water has been fined more than £480,000 after repeated pollution incidents where raw sewage leaked into a farmer’s field and a pond in a private fishery.
The Environment Agency prosecuted Severn Trent Water for incidents on 25 February 2014 and 26 March 2014. The polluted pond leads into the Kingsforth Brook at Bramley near Rotherham, which in turn leads downstream to the Maltby Dyke.
The water company had been warned on two previous occasions about similar incidents at the same location. The Severn Trent pipeline that transported raw sewage to a treatment plant ruptured at the same point, which led to four pollution incidents within a year.
The pollution directly contributed to fish deaths. Samples taken by the Environment Agency suggested that it had also affected the local invertebrate community, including freshwater shrimps.
On Wednesday, 23 September at Sheffield Crown Court, Severn Trent Water was fined £480,000, ordered to pay Environment Agency Costs of £13,675.38 as well as a victim surcharge of £120.
After sentencing a spokesman for the Environment Agency said:
“This is one of the largest fines ever to be imposed on a water company – and I hope it sends a strong message that it is far more cost effective to avoid these incidents, as we will continue to take companies and individuals to task where they ignore their responsibilities.”
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