A Leeds-based house building company has been fined £120,000 for illegally polluting a watercourse with run-off from a Huddersfield construction site.
The Environment Agency prosecuted Harron Homes Limited after it failed to control silt water escaping from its Farriers Croft estate in Yorkshire on a number of occasions.
This polluted water then entered a tributary of Grimescar Dyke.
Samples taken from the discharges showed they were having a significant impact on the water quality in the watercourse up to three kilometres further downstream.
Some samples showed there to be nearly 35,000 milligrams of suspended solids per litre of water – this figure should be lower than 30 milligrams per litre.
Mark West, Environment Management Team Leader at the Environment Agency, said: “These pollution incidents had a significant impact on the water environment over a number of weeks and were entirely avoidable.
“In West Yorkshire there has been a worrying increase in the number of pollutions incidents reported to us that on investigation are attributable to the construction sector.”
In addition to the fine, the company was ordered to pay £8,706.71 in legal costs and a £120 victim surcharge.