Wessex water fined £22,000 for pollution

Wessex Water has been fined for polluting a river with sewage and failing to install a telemetry alarm at a pumping station. The company pleaded guilty to two offences under section 85 of the Water Resources Act 1991 before Chippenham magistrates on 28 November.

The court heard that a gardener at a house in Bradford-upon-Avon noticed sewage in a local watercourse in April this year. He alerted the Environment Agency, which traced the pollution to a discharge from Wessex’s Springfield sewage pumping station.

An officer visiting the unstaffed works found one of its two pumps lying in pieces. He also noted the company had not inspected the site for the past five weeks and had failed to fit a telemetry alarm.

The works had a consent to discharge in an emergency but one of the consent’s conditions was that an overflow alarm be fitted before 31 March 2005.

The company was charged with causing sewage effluent to enter controlled waters and breaching the conditions of its discharge consent, both offences under sections 85(3) and (6) of the 1991 Act.

Wessex was fined a total of £22,000 with costs of £1,663.

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