Water companies' responsibilities for illegal trade effluents

The extent of sewerage undertakers' responsibilities for protecting rivers from pollution which results from illegal trade effluent discharges into the sewerage system is to be tested further following a successful appeal by Yorkshire Water in a case brought by the National Rivers Authority (NRA).

The case concerned a pollution incident in May 1990, when the discharge from Yorkshire Water's North Bierley sewage works, Bradford, exceeded its consent limits for BOD and suspended solids. In May 1991, Dewsbury magistrates found the company guilty of breaching its consent under section 107 of the Water Act 1989.

The appeal was heard at Wakefield Crown Court, where the legal arguments focussed on sections 107 and 108 of the Act.


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