Thames Water has been ordered to pay £1 million for polluting a canal in Hertfordshire.
That’s the biggest fine for a water company, according to the Environment Agency.
It found waste from the Tring sewage treatment site leaked into the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal on many occasions between July 2012 and April 2013.
St Albans Crown Court has also ordered Thames Water to pay costs of more than £18,000 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Environment Officer Emily Rowland said: “We take these types of incidents very seriously and will do everything within our powers to safeguard the environment and people affected and that includes holding to account those whose actions put the environment at risk.”
Thames Water said it takes responsibilities to the environment “extremely seriously and very much regret this incident” and has spent £30,000 on replacing the inlet screens at Tring.
A spokesperson added: “We have since invested heavily in Tring sewage works to further improve resilience and protect the Grand Union Canal. We have also reviewed our procedures to reduce the chance of anything like this happening again, including upgrades to the inlet screens which were the cause of the pollution when they became blocked with wipes and other non-flushable items.”