Nottingham

Severn Trent fined £426,000 for three sewage leaks

Sewage discharge from the surface water sewer to the Shire Brook Image copyright Severn Trent
Image caption On the first two occasions the sewer had backed up and leaked into the surface water drain that led to the Shire Brook

Water supplier Severn Trent has been ordered to pay almost half a million pounds after repeatedly allowing sewage to leak into a brook.

The Environment Agency, which prosecuted the company, said "sewage sludge and solids" were left in and near the Shire Brook on the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire border.

The £426,000 fine is one of the largest ever to be imposed on Severn Trent.

The company must also pay court costs of £38,642 and a £120 victim surcharge.

The Environment Agency hopes the fine will send "the necessary message" to the company and its shareholders.

Image copyright Severn Trent
Image caption The third leak was caused by a blocked combined sewer which the Environment Agency said resulted in "thick sewage sludge and solids on the hillside"

Severn Trent admitted three charges of contravening the requirements of an environmental permit, for allowing crude sewage effluent to leak into the brook on 9 May 2013, 17 December 2013 and 29 April 2014.

An officer involved with the investigation said: "Severn Trent Water has a responsibility to inspect and maintain its sewers. The discharge of raw sewage into the same brook three times within 12 months is more than unfortunate.

"This is one of the largest fines ever to be imposed on Severn Trent and I hope it sends a strong message that it is far more cost effective to avoid these incidents, as we will continue to take action against companies and individuals where they ignore their responsibilities."

The company previously pleaded guilty to the charges at Nottingham Magistrates' Court on 25 November, but was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court due to the seriousness of the offences.

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