Water consumer or polluter - who pays for aquifer contamination?

The House of Lords will shortly issue a crucial judgement on civil liability for aquifer pollution. But whatever way its verdict goes, serious shortcomings are likely to remain in the UK's arrangements for both preventing and remedying groundwater pollution by chlorinated solvents, landfill leachate and other discharges. At present, it is all too often water consumers who end up paying - and paying twice over because of the short-term strategies generally adopted by water companies.

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