South West Water has been ordered to pay £153,600 in penalty for three offences at a sewage treatment plant in Cornwall.
The facility at Luxulyan near St Austell “was not operating properly” between July 9th and July 23rd last year which resulted in poorly treated sewage discharging into the Par River, according to the Environment Agency.
Checks by the Agency revealed one of five surface aerators – which pumps air into the sewage compartment in order for it to treat the sewage – had been taken out of service in March 2013 and not yet been repaired or replaced.
The treatment system can cope without one surface aerator but when a second one failed in July, the works could no longer function properly, it added.
Phil Christie for the Environment Agency said: “South West Water took an unreasonably long time to repair a broken aerator and this meant the works were running at a significantly reduced efficiency. The company didn’t spot problems quickly enough or respond with the speed and urgency required.”