Water giant fined £1.5million for Evesham sewage failure - The Evesham Observer

Water giant fined £1.5million for Evesham sewage failure

Evesham Editorial 11th Dec, 2021   0

WATER provider Severn Trent has been fined £1.5million and ordered to pay £58,365 prosecution costs for illegal sewage discharges including into brooks in Worcestershire.

A staggering 360,000 litres of raw sewage ended up in Broadway Brook in Evesham in February 2018 after the company failed to respond promptly to alarms at its Blackminster sewage treatment works for four hours.

Kidderminster Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday (December 7) from Counsel James Puzey for the Environment Agency how it took ‘hours’ for staff to attempt to address the blockage which caused the spill.

The court also heard how over the winter of 2017/2018, Severn Trent Water failed to adequately manage treatment of sewage sludge at other treatment works in Worcestershire at sites in Bromgrove, Stoke Prior and at Priest Bridge near Redditch. The company pleaded guilty to the offences in August.

In passing sentence, District Judge Strongman said in respect of the Blackminster incident: “Alarms were not actioned as they should have been. This resulted in the works discharging for 4 hours.”

A fine of £1million was imposed for the offence at Blackminster and £500,000 for the offence at Priest Bridge. No fine was imposed for breaches at Bromsgrove and Stoke Prior.

Since these incidents the company has advised the Environment Agency it has changed its management structure and provided better technical support.

Severn Trent Water Ltd has also stated it plans to rebuild its works at Blackminster and close the works at Stoke Prior towards the end of the decade.

David Throup, environment manager for the Environment Agency in Worcestershire, said: “Incidents like this are preventable and are completely unacceptable, particularly at a time when the need to protect the water environment for wildlife and people has never been greater and when public consciousness on environmental matters is so high.

“Water companies are aware their activities have the potential for serious environmental impacts, and they know we will take action when they cause pollution.

“The Environment Agency does and will continue to hold water companies to account when their performance falls below acceptable standards,” he added.

Anyone who sees suspected water pollution is asked to call the Environment Agency 0800 80 70 60.


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