Sat, Nov 01, 2014
Text Size
Monday, 25 February 2013 08:42

Thames Water ordered to pay £14k+ for stream pollution

Thames Water has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,488 for polluting Faringdon Stream in Faringdon, Oxfordshire between 14 and 16 August 2011.

The company was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15 at the hearing at Oxford Magistrates Court on Friday.

The court heard how a breach in a Thames Water sewage inlet pipe downstream of Faringdon Sewage Treatment Works caused sewage to overflow and discharge into an area of woodland and flow into Faringdon Stream. The discharge lasted for more than 48 hours and caused a significant deterioration in water quality and the invertebrate community.

Environment Agency officers visited the site on the 17 August and noted dead fish, including chub, dace, perch and roach which appeared to have been dead for some time. Water quality samples were taken to check levels of ammonia, suspended solids and oxygen. The measurements indicated sewage pollution at levels consistent with the death of the fish. It is estimated that upwards of 270 fish were killed by the sewage pollution in total.

During the investigation Environment Agency officers found that there had been a burst on another part of the same pipe in the close vicinity in September 2003. There was no further investigation at that time which Thames Water told the court is in accordance with standard industry practice. The pipe was installed prior to 1974 but Thames Water has said that it is rare for gravity sewers to collapse and that each pipe failure is assessed independently to see if replacement is required.

Thames Water has made a decision to replace a short section of pipe but these works have not yet been carried out.

Jack Knight, the investigating Environment Agency officer, said:

“Rivers and water courses are an important part of the environment; they offer an essential resource for wildlife, fisheries and recreation. It is distressing when incidents such as this one occur and cause fairly significant environmental damage, with several hundred fish killed by this sewage spill.

“The prosecution and fining of Thames Water sends a clear message to other companies that if you fail in your environmental responsibilities you may be prosecuted.

Product Showcase

  • Construction work almost halved on Yorkshire Water reservoir upgrade

    Doe Park Reservoir 2Innovative cost-saving solutions have played a key role in the upgrade of Yorkshire Water’s Doe Park Reservoir, almost halving construction time on the scheme.

  • National retailers tap into UK flood market

    HYDROSACKSome of the largest UK-wide retailers, including B&Q and Homebase, have taken it upon themselves to relieve strain on local councils caused by flooding, according to flood product manufacturer Gravitas International. 

  • Customers come first – the new water retail market

    STS 1Severn Trent’s Managing Director Business Services, Andy Smith expounded his vision of a retail water sector committed to exceptional customer service before an influential audience at the Water Event, NEC 16-17 September 2014.

  • SuDS Infrastructure for Cambridge Homes Expansion

    SuDS Pond Great Kneighton 2 Building a sustainable drainage infrastructure for a development providing 1000s of new homes to serve the expanding Cambridge conurbation has delivered important lessons for housebuilders as they prepare for new regulations for SuDS in England and Wales – whilst demonstrating that the solution for every site must be individual.

Sign up to receive the Waterbriefing newsletter:


Watch

Click here for more...

Login / Register




Forgot login?
Register
Existing waterbriefing users - log into the new website using your original username and the new password 'waterbriefing'. You can then change your password once logged in.

Advertise with Waterbriefing

WaterBriefing is the UK’s leading online daily dedicated news and intelligence service for business professionals in the water sector – covering both UK and international issues. Advertise with us for an unrivalled opportunity to place your message in front of key influencers, decision makers and purchasers.

Find out more

About Waterbriefing

Water Briefing is an information service, delivering daily news, company data and product information straight to the desks of purchasers, users and specifiers of equipment and services in the UK water and wastewater industry.


Find out more