Northamptonshire brook sewage pollution: Anglian Water fined £146k

Grendon Brook Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption Grendon Brook, near Wellingborough, was polluted with sewage from an Anglian Water plant in 2016

A water company has been fined £146,000 after it polluted about a mile (1.6km) of a brook with sewage.

The Environment Agency found ammonia levels in Grendon Brook, Northants were toxic to aquatic life.

Leicester Magistrates' Court found a lack of maintenance was behind a number of failures at Anglian Water's Yardley Hastings sewage plant in August 2016.

The Agency's Adam Glassford said the company "did not live up to their environmental responsibilities".

He said: "It's our job as a regulator to protect people and wildlife, and we will take action when they're put at risk."

Tests carried out by Agency officers showed levels of ammonia were 20 times higher downstream than upstream - enough to be extremely toxic to aquatic life.

The pollution was caused by various failures at the pumping station, including alarms which should have alerted staff to the problem with the pumps failing to sound.

The spill was reported on 24 August, but was not acted on, and the company had no record of the report being made, the Agency said.

The pollution continued intermittently for two days until it was noticed and stopped on 26 August.

The Agency acknowledged that it was Anglian Water which reported the incident, and there was no evidence of any dead fish or invertebrates.

Anglian Water admitted breaching Environmental Permitting Regulations and the Water Resources Act, and also had to pay £10,676 in costs.

The company has since taken steps to fix the faults and to clean up the brook.

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