On 22 December 2003, the company was called to the site of a golf course development in Market Bosworth, Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The developers, Selter Associates, had found a blockage in a foul sewer that runs alongside the development.
While investigating the blockage, Severn Trent Water officers found a 10 centimetre hole in the sewer. No sewage was escaping from it, though, so they decided to repair it within the week.
On 29 December, however, Mr James, a nearby resident, found dead fish and sewage floating on the surface of his lake.
Environment Agency officers were immediately called to the scene. Their investigations revealed that a further blockage had occurred in the foul sewer over Christmas causing sewage to pour out of the hole, across the golf course development and into the pond.
Appearing before Hinckley magistrates on 27 January, Severn Trent pleaded guilty to causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters, contrary to sections 85(1) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 1991. It was fined £6,500 and made to pay £3,883 costs.
The fine is the company's first of the year.