Anglian fined £21,000 on dirty water charges

Anglian Water pleaded guilty to charges of supplying water unfit for human consumption, contrary to section 70(1) of the Water Industry Act 1991, before Bedford magistrates on 5 September. The case was brought by the Drinking Water Inspectorate following complaints of discoloured water from consumers in three Bedfordshire villages.

The court heard that up to 14,000 customers were affected by the incident in August 2000. The cause was the failure of Anglian's control centre to respond to alarms signalling the emptying of a water tower.

The emptying and subsequent restoration of water supplies caused unusual flows which stirred up sediments in the mains. There was no evidence of a risk to health from the incident.

Anglian was fined £21,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,345. It was the company's third prosecution for supplying unfit water. It was prosecuted twice in January 1999 and fined a total of £25,000 (ENDS Report 288, p 55 ).

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