Anglian Water pays out £100,000 to charity for two water pollution incidents

The Environment Agency (EA) has revealed details of an enforcement undertaking in which Anglian Water agreed to pay two charities £50,000 each for two separate pollution incidents.

The two pollution incidents were caused by burst water mains discharging water contaminated with sediment in 2016. The first took place in May at Billing Brook, Northampton and the second in July at Willow Brook, Corby. 

After investigating, EA officers found that Anglian Water had discharged “matter or effluent that is poisonous or injurious to fish, spawn, spawning areas or food of fish” in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975. 

The company submitted an enforcement undertaking agreeing to take steps to ensure similar incidents would not happen again and offered to pay £100,000 to charity. 

Having taken into account the circumstances of the case, the EA said it had decided that it would be appropriate to accept the enforcement undertaking.

As part of the enforcement undertaking, Anglian Water reviewed its incident response measures, staff training and internal procedures. The company also agreed to pay the EA’s costs.

Adam Glassford an environment officer for the EA, said: “Enforcement undertakings are voluntary offers made by companies and individuals to make amends for breaching environmental regulations, including through a financial contribution to a project that must secure environmental benefit/improvement to protect, restore or enhance the natural capital of England.

“When appropriate, they allow a better resolution for the environment than a prosecution as they require action to put things right in a way that directly benefits the environment and local communities.”

Anglian Water Services Ltd offered to pay £50,000 to The Wildlife Trust (BCN) for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and £50,000 to Growing Together Northampton.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “We take our role protecting the environment extremely seriously. These two enforcement undertakings were offered as a result of clean water spills from two burst water mains in Northampton and Corby in May and July 2016 respectively.

"Both events occurred when soil from the area escaped with the flow of water while our teams were conducting repairs to the pipes. The water unfortunately escaped into the watercourses at Billing Brook and Willow Brook, however no damage to the environment was caused and our teams were quick to respond and isolate the issues as quickly as possible.”

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