South West Water fined £142,000 for pollution

South West Water has been ordered to pay more than £142,000 in fines and costs for two pollution incidents. According to the Environment Agency, poor quality effluent was discharged from […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

South West Water has been ordered to pay more than £142,000 in fines and costs for two pollution incidents.

According to the Environment Agency, poor quality effluent was discharged from two of its sewage treatment plants in Denbury, Devon and Praze an Beeble near Camborne, Cornwall.

It added both sites breached the conditions of their permits.

Between September 2015 and June 2016, four samples of tested ammonia, suspended solids and Biochemical Oxygen Demand exceeded the quality standards laid down at the Dennbury site’s permit.

At Praze an Beeble, which requires a lot of maintenance, the amount of ammonia discharged exceeded the amount allowed by the permit in May and August 2016.

Mark Pilcher from the Environment Agency said: “Water companies must ensure effluent is treated to a sufficiently high standard to protect the environment. Regular maintenance of sewage treatment works helps with the early detection of faults and allows repairs to be made in good time before treatment deteriorates to the point where a site breaches its permit.”

South West Water accepted and apologised for the incidents, adding there was no environmental impact on the Praze River and Halwell Stream.

A spokesperson added: “Routine regular maintenance visits to the site, which serves 510 people, have been increased and in 2016 we invested £41,800 to improve the works. We are currntly spending a further £44,300 of refurbishments.”