Yorkshire Water fined £2,400 for sewage overflow

Yorkshire Water, in court for the third time this year, was fined £2,400 on 29 March after polluting a beck with raw sewage.

Appearing before Halifax magistrates, the company pleaded guilty to causing polluting matter to enter Clifton beck contrary to sections 85(1) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 1991. It was made to pay £771 in costs on top of the £2,400 fine. Environment Agency officers, investigating a complaint by a member of the public, found a combined sewer overflow belonging to the company discharging raw sewage into the beck on 9 October last year. The sewage had turned the beck grey and foul smelling. Samples taken from the beck showed it was suffering from low levels of dissolved oxygen. The officers returned to the beck the next day to find that it was clear but still contaminated with grey sewage fungus showing that the incident had lasted for several days. Two dead fish were also reported. In mitigation, Yorkshire said that the sewer overflow was discharging due to a sewer collapse and blockage. The company was not aware of the collapse, although a closed-circuit TV survey of the sewer had shown a hole which was assumed to be a side-join. The fine brings Yorkshire Water's total for this year to £9,900 (ENDS Report 350, p 63 ).

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