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Thames Water is clocking up an unenviable record for water pollution offences. In May, it was fined £1,000, with court costs of £225 and clean-up costs of £6-7,000, for a spillage of 1,000 gallons of diesel oil into the river Kennet which resulted from an operator's failure to switch off an oil flow into an emergency generator. The company is also to pay an estimated £100,000 compensation to third parties, including a trout farm. Another oil spill at a pumping station in north London last May has brought it a £1,000 fine, with £200 costs. The leak was caused by a faulty gauge on an oil tank. And in another recent case, the firm was fined £400 for a sub-standard discharge into a stream from its Crawley sewage works. The breach resulted from the failure of two new automatic pumps to restart during an unmanned shift. All the prosecutions were brought by the National Rivers Authority.

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