Thames Water fined £3.33m For Pollution

WD NEWS: Thames Water has been fined £3.33m after millions of litres of raw sewage flooded two rivers near Gatwick. Judge Christine Laing KC DL told the Lewes crown court that Thames Water deliberately misled the Environment Agency during its investigation. The untreated effluent killed several thousand fish after equipment failed in late 2017, and the consequence was sewage pouring into one river and then another for several hours.

Investigators found almost 1,400 dead fish in Gatwick Stream and the River Mole, but the court heard this was a fraction of the number the Environment Agency believes were killed. Many more would have been lost in vegetation and deep pools or eaten by birds and other animals. An Environment Agency officer said the Mole was “carpeted” with dead fish. Species killed included a large 6lbs barbel, plus bream, chub, gudgeon, perch, pike and roach.

A pump at the company’s sewage treatment works in Crawley was activated in error. This led to a storm lagoon discharging sewage and rainwater into the stream, pushing it into the Mole, despite there being no significant rainfall. The lagoon should only come into operation in wet weather. Judge Laing heard that in the days after the incident, Thames Water said its infrastructure had nothing to do with the pollution. However, they later pleaded guilty to four breaches of environmental law.

In addition to the £3.33m fine, Judge Laing ordered Thames Water to pay the Environment Agency’s costs of £128,961.05.

Source: Govt.UK

Photo courtesy: Reuters


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Read More