Two brewers fined for water pollution

National brewer Greene King, whose brands include IPA, Abbot Ale and Ruddles County, has been fined after one of its pubs failed to comply with discharge consent conditions.

Greene King Leasing appeared before Fareham magistrates on 3 December to admit discharging sewage effluent other than in compliance with a discharge consent, contrary to section 85(3) of the Water Resources Act 1991. Routine sampling by the Environment Agency of effluent discharged from the Buck's Head public house at Meonstoke, Hampshire, found biochemical oxygen demand and suspended solids at levels six and nine times consent limits, respectively. The receiving water was the river Meon, which is a high quality salmonid water containing migrating sea trout. In mitigation, the company said it had spent £26,500 on improving the works. Greene King was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,600. Meanwhile, O'Hanlons Brewing Company has been fined £500 and ordered to pay costs after polluting a West Country river with trade effluent. The company claimed ignorance of the need for a discharge consent. Owner John O'Hanlon appeared before Central Devon magistrates on 26 November to plead guilty to causing polluting matter to enter the river Clyst and discharging trade effluent without a discharge consent, both contrary to section 85 of the 1991 Act. The court heard that the river contained sewage fungus and brewery sludge and smelt strongly of malt. Several dead trout were found in the river. Mr O'Hanlon said that he thought that consent to discharge was included with planning permission for the brewery.

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