Private sewage firm gets more pollution fines

Valley Waste Management, which manages a private sewage works treating effluent from holiday caravans in Cornwall, has been convicted a third time for water pollution offences.

On 3 December, the company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 by East Cornwall magistrates after admitting causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters and contravening a discharge consent, both contrary to section 85 of the Water Resources Act 1991. The sewage works discharges to the sea at Millendreath near Looe, a designated bathing water, via a pipe running down the beach. The pipe was broken and Environment Agency officers found a smell of sewage and high levels of bacteria in a pool on the beach. The company was also breaching conditions in its consent which allowed it to discharge only for three hours either side of high tide. The case was the company's third court appearance in two years. Last March, it was fined £10,000 after the Agency found the works was not meeting its consent conditions (ENDS Report 338, p 58338087). It was fined £5,000 in March 2002 after ignoring an enforcement notice (ENDS Report 327, p 53327077). The Agency said that Valley Waste is now under new management and has spent £1 million improving the works.

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