The incident occurred last June, when a storm tank at the company's Stow sewage pumping station overflowed into the Gala Water. Around 300 metres of the watercourse was polluted with raw sewage, sanitary towels and other matter before the Scottish Environment Protection Agency alerted the company.
The prosecuting officer told Selkirk Sheriff Court: "This stretch of the Gala Water is open to the public and has a relatively high amenity value to locals and is used as a walkway. Children are known to swim and play in the river at that area."
The court heard that a screen intended to intercept solids before they entered the river had failed to work effectively, and a new pump to control the flow of drainage water to the storm tank was still being commissioned at the time of the incident.
Scottish Water pleaded guilty to a charge of causing or knowingly permitting polluting matter to enter controlled waters, contrary to section 30F(3) of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. It brings the company's total fines this year to £18,000 (ENDS Report 350, p 62 ).