Yorkshire Water has been ordered to pay £600,000 for a pollution incident.
One of its sewage pipe burst and killed hundreds of fish in a lake at Walton Colliery Nature Park, according to the Environment Agency (EA).
Leeds Crown Court heard there had been four bursts and on each occasion Yorkshire Water “had put the failure down to age deterioration of the pipe”, the EA added.
The company pleaded guilty to one charge of causing a water discharge that was not authorised by an environmental permit.
Mark West, Environment Management Team Leader at the Environment Agency said: “Utility companies have a responsibility to properly manage their infrastructure and ensure that their operations do not put the environment at unnecessary risk.
“This pollution incident had a significant impact on the ecology of the lake and the canal and it could have been avoided had the company taken action to replace the pipe following earlier bursts.”
Yorkshire Water added protecting the environment is of “crucial importance” to the company
A spokesperson said: “Our pollution performance has been recognised by the Environment Agency as industry leading. Today’s judgement in no way reflects the performance of Yorkshire Water as a whole and we are deeply sorry about the incident in Shay Lane in Walton.
“We work every day to manage our water environment across Yorkshire and we care a great deal when our assets don’t perform as we would expect. We began on site in Walton in November to invest around £1 million to replace the pipe which burst and caused this incident to try to avoid this happening again.”
Earlier this year Thames Water was fined £1 million – the biggest ever for a water company – for polluting a canal in Hertfordshire.