Northumbrian Water Ltd fined £33,600 for pollution incidents

Northumbrian Water Ltd was sentenced on 23 July at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to an offence under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016. The company was ordered to pay a fine of £33,600 in respect of three pollution incidents.

One incident related to a discharge of untreated sewage into Smithy Burn at Broomley on 19 August 2016. An EA investigation found that at times of heavy rainfall, a storm overflow allowed rainwater and sewage effluent to bypass the sewage treatment works.

The EA also found that a silt build-up had diverted the flow to the storm overflow and a manhole chamber, which would have revealed a blockage, had not been checked during maintenance inspections. An ecological survey indicated that freshwater shrimp and midge larvae had been killed by a sewage fungus which had developed in the channel.

The court considered two other incidents of unpermitted discharges of sewage effluent on 26 June 2015 at Summerhouse and Killerby Sewage Treatment Works. The EA identified a failure to undertake repairs and replace faulty equipment.

If you should have any questions about your legal obligations in relation to Environmental regulations and need a specialist environmental solicitor, call James Lowe, our Regulatory and Licensing Partner on 07833 240 400 for advice and assistance.